Attention DeepCapture fans in the New York and New Jersey area: our own Patrick Byrne will be speaking at Rutgers University on Monday, February 22, 2016 at Hageman Hall, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, at 4:30pm (EST). The subject will be the philosophical underpinnings of the cryptocurrency movement and how it relates to liberalism and social justice.
The flaws in the current Wall Street settlement system, and how they can be remedied by blockchain technology, will be included in the discourse. I’ve been present for pieces of what’s going to be presented, and it’s always a fascinating time. Hearing all the pieces brought together is something not to be missed.
Three cheers for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington D.C., Jan. 14, 2016 —The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Goldman, Sachs & Co. has agreed to pay $15 million to settle charges that its securities lending practices violated federal regulations.
According to the SEC’s order instituting a settled administrative proceeding, broker-dealers such as Goldman Sachs are regularly asked by customers to locate stock for short selling. Granting a “locate” represents that a firm has borrowed, arranged to borrow, or reasonably believes it could borrow the security to settle the short sale. The SEC finds that Goldman Sachs violated Regulation SHO by improperly providing locates to customers where it had not performed an adequate review of the securities to be located. Such locates were inaccurately recorded in the firm’s locate log that must reflect the basis upon which Goldman Sachs has given out locates.
“The requirement that firms locate securities before effecting short sales is an important safeguard against illegal short selling,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “Goldman Sachs failed to meet its obligations by allowing customers to engage in short selling without determining whether the securities could reasonably be borrowed at settlement.”
The SEC’s order finds that when SEC examiners questioned the firm’s securities lending practices during an examination in 2013, Goldman Sachs provided incomplete and unclear responses that adversely affected and unnecessarily prolonged the examination.
“SEC exams ensure that market participants are following the rules, so there will be consequences, including in the determination of remedies, when a registrant fails to provide complete and clear responses to examination staff,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.
According to the SEC’s order, Goldman Sachs employees who were members of the firm’s Securities Lending Demand Team routinely processed customer locate requests by relying on a function of the Goldman Sachs order management system known as “fill from autolocate,” which was accessed via the “F3” key. This function enabled employees to cause the system to grant locate requests based on the amount of reliable start-of-day inventory reported to Goldman Sachs by large financial institutions, even though its automated system had already deemed this inventory to be depleted based on locate requests processed earlier in the day.
The SEC’s order finds that when Goldman Sachs employees used this function to grant locate requests, they relied on their general belief that the automated model was conservative and the granting of additional locates would not result in failures to deliver when the securities became due for settlement. In doing so, the Goldman Sachs employees did not check alternative sources of inventory or perform an adequate review of the securities to be located.
The SEC’s order also finds that Goldman Sachs’s documentation of its compliance with Regulation SHO was inaccurate as it failed to sufficiently differentiate between the locates filled by its automated model and those filled by the Demand Team using the “fill from autolocate” function. In both cases, the locate log simply mentioned the term “autolocate” to refer to the start-of-day inventory utilized by the firm’s automated model as the source of securities underlying the grant of a locate.
The SEC’s order finds that Goldman Sachs violated Rule 203(b)(1) of Regulation SHO and Section 17(a) of the Securities Exchange Act. Without admitting or denying the findings, Goldman Sachs consented to the order and agreed to pay the $15 million penalty. The order censures Goldman Sachs and requires the firm to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of Rule 203(b)(1) of Regulation SHO and Section 17(a) of the Exchange Act relating to short sale locate records.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by John C. Lehmann, Jason W. Sunshine, and Charles D. Riely of the New York Regional Office with substantial assistance provided by John L. Celio, Katy Chiu, Josephine LaFata, and Jennifer A. Grumbrecht of the National Exam Program. The case has been supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa.
I am not going to opine on the particulars of the President Obama’s Iran deal (“Joint Plan of Action”), other than to say that many years ago I spent time in Iran, loved the people and came to think that they are the USA’s natural allies in that part of the world’s (just as in my travels I came to believe that Vietnam is our natural ally in continental Asia), but had a beef with the authoritarianism of most of the mullahs I met (a dissatisfaction that I had opportunity to express to them while there). I am a liberal (not in the modern American misuse of the term, but in the correct, Hayekian/Milton Friedman sense of the term), and to me non-liberals generally seem like sociopaths. So while analysis of the terms of JPOA that I might venture would come from that mixed sense of a belief that American engagement with Persia would be good for the world, while standing up for America’s liberal values (and for those countries that broadly share them, such as Israel) is also good for the world, I will leave that for another place and time. Instead, this comment on the JPOA will be based not on its substance, but on the process which gave birth to it: In my experience, when any one person (including myself) believes that one’s greater wisdom, virtue, or intelligence puts one in a position to bypass institutions which have evolved (such as common law) or which have withstood the test of time (such as the US Constitution), it generally works out badly.
“With regard to the intermixture of powers, I shall rely upon the explanations already given in other places, of the true sense of the rule upon which that objection is founded; and shall take it for granted, as an inference from them, that the union of the Executive with the Senate, in the article of treaties, is no infringement of that rule. I venture to add, that the particular nature of the power of making treaties indicates a peculiar propriety in that union. Though several writers on the subject of government place that power in the class of executive authorities, yet this is evidently an arbitrary disposition; for if we attend carefully to its operation, it will be found to partake more of the legislative than of the executive character, though it does not seem strictly to fall within the definition of either of them. The essence of the legislative authority is to enact laws, or, in other words, to prescribe rules for the regulation of the society; while the execution of the laws, and the employment of the common strength, either for this purpose or for the common defense, seem to comprise all the functions of the executive magistrate. The power of making treaties is, plainly, neither the one nor the other. It relates neither to the execution of the subsisting laws, nor to the enaction of new ones; and still less to an exertion of the common strength.Its objects are CONTRACTS with foreign nations, which have the force of law, but derive it from the obligations of good faith. They are not rules prescribed by the sovereign to the subject, but agreements between sovereign and sovereign. The power in question seems therefore to form a distinct department, and to belong, properly, neither to the legislative nor to the executive. The qualities elsewhere detailed as indispensable in the management of foreign negotiations, point out the Executive as the most fit agent in those transactions; while the vast importance of the trust, and the operation of treaties as laws, plead strongly for the participation of the whole or a portion of the legislative body in the office of making them.
“However proper or safe it may be in governments where the executive magistrate is an hereditary monarch, to commit to him the entire power of making treaties, it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate of four years’ duration. It has been remarked, upon another occasion, and the remark is unquestionably just, that an hereditary monarch, though often the oppressor of his people, has personally too much stake in the government to be in any material danger of being corrupted by foreign powers. But a man raised from the station of a private citizen to the rank of chief magistrate, possessed of a moderate or slender fortune, and looking forward to a period not very remote when he may probably be obliged to return to the station from which he was taken, might sometimes be under temptations to sacrifice his duty to his interest, which it would require superlative virtue to withstand. An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth. An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents. The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind, as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world, to the sole disposal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as would be a President of the United States.”
By now astute readers of DeepCapture have gathered that over the years I have developed a soft spot in my heart for the assorted brigands, cutpurses, swindlers, and crooks who inhabit these pages. One must keep in mind that they have looted the savings of millions, of course, and some of them are terrorists who wish to harm to our country, but when I was an altar boy I learned that even when rage-stomping bullies and miscreants I would invariably feel a twinge of sympathy. So perhaps it is a legacy of that misspent youth, but when I learned last night that Anthony Elgindy (AKA “Amir Elgindy” AKA “Tony Pacific”) killed himself Thursday, I confess that my chuckle had a certain sad edge to it. Call me sentimental.
Amir Elgindy was an Egyptian with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood who immigrated to America and, like some others from that neck of the woods, gave himself an Italian name upon arrival. Here he engaged in various forms of stock market mischief. In 2000 he was indicted on nine counts of insurance fraud, and pled guilty to a mail fraud count on which he served four months in federal pen. In 2003 the NASD fined his brokerage, Key West Securities, and expelled Elgindy because he “engaged in a manipulative scheme in 1997 to inflate artificially the share price of Saf T Lok, Inc. through the entering of fraudulent quotations in the Nasdaq system, selling the stock short at the artificially high prices, and then taking active steps to depress the share price of Saf T Lok through the dissemination of negative research comments” (i.e., what is known in the parlance as “a pump-and-dump”).
But Elgindy’s real genius manifested itself in the late 1990’s when he set up a cleverly-designed password protected website on which various criminals (about 60-70 in all), shielded from public scrutiny, coordinated illegal short-and-distort market manipulation schemes. I say, “cleverly designed” because it was rigged as a message board on which one could not scroll backwards. Day and night various criminals would openly discuss which firms to target next, what brokerages were giving loose locates to enable illegal naked short selling, and which toady journalists had been fed stories they had agreed to publish, and when.
Unfortunately for Anthony Elgindy, one of his closest friends was not, in fact, loyal to him. This friend hired assistants to sit at computer screens around the clock, 24/7/365, hitting “Print Screen” every couple of minutes and making physical record of all that was said in this chat room for nearly three years. Many years ago I obtained an attic full of bankers boxers filled with these print outs, which, incidentally, I caused to be scanned and stored with a law firm for posterity. Some future historian working to recreate the evolution of Wall Street criminality in the decade leading up to the Crash of ’08 could find no better place to start than working through these tens of thousands of pages of print-outs, which are available for the asking (come to think of it, maybe it is time I just cause it all to be posted online myself, probably on one of those Dutch servers that is immune from subpoenas and lawsuits). Therefore, unscrambling the various relationships among the miscreants I pursued on Wall Street was far easier than it may have appeared to outsiders. There they were, in black and white:
One hedge fund manager rejoices in the compliance of pseudo-journalist Herb Greenberg (of Jim Cramer’s thestreet.com), opining, “maybe when thestreet.com folds we can hire Herb to work exclusively for us” (NB: they did, and that describes Herb’s subsequent career at CNBC and ever after, until he faded into obscurity).
Dave Kansas, also of Jim Cramer’s TheStreet.com. Dave Kansas went on to edit the C Section of the Wall Street Journal, where I first crossed paths with him in 2002 when he degraded a story on Bill Hambrecht’s Dutch Auction IPO as a favor to the Wall Street firms he has spent his career dutifully servicing with all the verve and imagination of a lifer in a Tijuana hump-hump bar.
Carol Remond of DowJones. Later I tangled with Carol Remond on occasion and she became the object of my journalistic attention: see one of my favorite pieces, “Carol Remond Tells a Joke She Doesn’t Get“, in which she engages in debasing apologetics for the failure of David Rocker’s hedge fund, which collapsed in October 2008 through no fault of its own (Carol maintains), but (no kidding, this was her position) simply because in September 2008 rules were adopted preventing Rocker Partners from breaking the law anymore.
Bloomberg’s Dave Evans, it is written,”gave us SPBR for free-been very profitable.”
Dan Loeb, now a well-known New York hedge fund manager, who got his start on Elgindy’s board using the pseudonym “Mr. Pink”, once wrote of Dave’s willingness to be spoon fed stories to regurgitate on cue in Bloomberg (stories in front of which this syndicate of hooligans could trade). For his services “Dave Evans is a made man,” wrote now-respectable hedge fund manager Dan Loeb.
Elgindy furthered this stock picking “prowess” by bribing two FBI agents to feed him advance knowledge of federal investigations against companies, information in front of which, again, he and his gang of merry miscreants could trade. He would have gotten away with it forever, I think, but on September 10, 2001, he called his Smith Barney broker and told him to liquidate his (Elgindy’s) stocks, saying that “tomorrow the Dow is going to 3,000” (it was 9,600 at the time). The next day when planes hit buildings the Smith Barney broker called the feds, who rolled up Elgindy and his stock discussion board. At trial the federal prosecutors decided to leave aside mention of their belief that Elgindy had prior knowledge of 9/11 on the grounds that it was too inflammatory: knowing he was losing the trial, however, Elgindy’s lawyer started bringing up such allegations, which opened things up for the feds to discuss them in court. That part of the trial transcript was later sealed by the judge, but in 2007 an enterprising Bloomberg journalist named Gary Matsumoto managed to obtain them from a Brooklyn court storage facility, and it is clear that the feds absolutely believed that Elgindy knew about 9/11 the day before it occurred.
Elgindy was convicted on those charges of bribing FBI agents. Between his conviction and his sentencing he was under house arrest in his home near San Diego. When he showed up to the court for sentencing, he came with only 9 fingers, the other having been lost “in a beach barbecuing accident,” he told the judge. When the prosecutor pointed out that Elgindy had been under house arrest and unable to access a beach, Elgindy changed to another improbable story. A person central to the case later told me that certain elements of Organized Crime had shown up at Elgindy’s house while he was awaiting sentencing, told him that if he talked while he was in prison they would skin Elgindy’s wife alive, took Elgindy to his basement, and at gunpoint forced him to saw his own finger off with a hacksaw, the better to remember the tutorial.
Elgindy was subsequently sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. While in prison he followed my activities closely, even obsessively. As a result, I made arrangements for an associate of mine to befriend Elgindy (under pretense) through email, and he actually received permission to visit Elgindy in prison in 2006. Three days before my associate’s visit, the Federal Bureau of Prisons revoked my associate’s permission, moved Elgindy to isolation, and refused my colleague further communication with Elgindy. How odd.
This post may be a little inside-baseball. I will not explain at length the significance of this (if it does not make sense, you will have to read around in DeepCapture to understand it fully), but the short version is as follows.
My battle with Wall Street started off as a fight regarding slop in the settlement system and how it could be used to rig the stock market (the battle later expanded into other areas, including organized crime, economic warfare, and what I felt was an insufficiently proactive regulatory environment, the latter of which, I am happy to say, is showing signs of real improvement). For a decade I have asserted that one of the sources of that slop has been the system that governs short selling. One of the sources of that slop has concerned how hedge funds locate stock to short sell. And one form of thatslop originates in the “Easy to Borrow List” that prime brokerages put out each day.
Every day each prime broker (e.g., Goldman, JP Morgan) looks at the stock it has available to lend to short sellers. Assume that a prime broker has 100,000 shares of Martha Stewart Omnimedia (ticker: MSO) “in the box,” which is to say, “available to lend.” They put that on a list of “Easy to Borrow” stocks that it then faxes in the morning to its hedge fund clients. A hedge fund who wants to short MSO then looks at this morning’s fax, and can short sell sell 100,000 shares of MSO. It can claim it has met its requirements to have a good faith belief that it will be able to locate stock to deliver in three days based on its having seen this morning’s Easy to Borrow list from its prime broker.
Of course, three high school kids and a pet turtle can figure out the flaw in this system: there is nothing to keep five different hedge funds who all receive the same fax from all short selling that same 100,000 shares MSO, and thus, selling 500,000 shares into the market place (while only 100,000 are able to be delivered). Yet the authorities have traditionally done nothing to stop this, because the prime broker can say, “We didn’t lie, there were 100,000 MSO in the box this morning when we faxed out that list.” And the five individual hedge funds could not be pursued because each one could say, “I saw it on the Easy to Borrow list this morning, so I had a ‘good faith reason to believe’ I had located shares available to borrow.” Believe it or not, while the nefarious activities described within DeepCapture often use a lot of jargon, and likely seem highly arcane to outsiders, at their heart they are often no more complicated than that. Therein lies the brilliance of these illegal schemes: there is not one pair of dirty hands to cuff, just a bunch of smudgy fingers scattered throughout the system.
Seven weeks ago the SEC (towards which I, having been quite a scold for many years, now feel compelled to give significant credit) tagged Merrill Lynch/Bank of America with an $11 million fine regarding their participation in such loosey-goosey activities over many years. See Merrill Lynch pays $11 mln to settle short sale violations (Reuters, June 1, 2015). In full disclosure, I should mention that Merrill Lynch/Bank of America are on the business end of a lawsuit concerning precisely these activities, a lawsuit which I filed years ago in California, which a few months ago received a green light from the California Supreme Court, which just this week had a judge assigned to try the case (who herself has called a Case Management Conference for August 12), and which, with a little bit of luck, will be being heard later this year or early in 2016 by twelve California citizens good and true.
In a major development, yesterday afternoon Goldman circulated an internal memo announcing that it is discontinuing its long-standing use of Easy to Borrow lists. (To protect my source within Goldman I am sanitizing things by just posting a screen shot of the relevant portion):
America’s Band is making history in their “Fare Thee Well” concert tonight. I’ve been here for three days, and the first two were what we expected (and last night’s July 4 concert was like no other July 4 party I have ever witnessed) but tonight…. I have followed Kesey and the Dead since 1968 (yes, I was 6), attended and/or listened to too many concerts to number, I was prepared for anything, but not tonight. I’ve never seen a musical performance in my life like tonight. Magnificent unapologetic 60s music, the most hard-core Ken Kesey-style Merry Prankster “happening” that only the Dead could have pulled off. Their “Fare Thee Well” concert is not a message from them to us but a message for us to each other: from its opening chords they staged the whole concert tonight as a massively apocalyptic event, a bunch of crazy 60’s stone cold phreaks gathering at the edge of Armageddon to dance one last time together.
As Deep Capture readers are used to doing, we can now sit back a see how long it takes the world to catch up with what happened tonight.
I have found only one review of the final night of Grateful Dead’s three night “Fare Thee Well” performance that hinted at what happened there. Not a single one of the countless video clips that have been published across the Internet (including some in many major publications) caught the moment. Indeed, I believe many in attendance were baffled until it was almost too late. I will explain what I saw (in doing so I fear I must over-quote lyrics, which I will replace if the proper video clip emerges).
The sound for the third (Sunday) night was mixed differently than I had ever heard, even at a Dead show, and in a way that would probably not have been apparent to anyone streaming it at home. In much of the first set, and especially into the climax of the first set, the bass was heavily boosted, and the reverb just…. well… would not fade away (if I may be excused the expression). The result was a stadium vibrating like we were being visited by Armageddon itself. As the sun went down and the first set began to draw to a close, the Dead blasted Soldier Field with a sound that got increasingly cataclysmic, psychedelic, and weird until (I believe the films will show) even a fair bit of the audience took their seats. In the twilight they transitioned to their climax, distilling 50 years of of music into one howling crescendo, as if to say, “We will not be here to do it for you again, we will condense it into one drop, so please taste this,” and literally shook the stadium with “Throwing Stones/Ashes to Ashes” (see 1987 studio version here) while like a man on fire Bob Weir defiantly shouted these lyrics:
Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free Dizzy with eternity Paint it with a skin of sky, brush in some clouds and sea Call it home for you and me A peaceful place, or so it looks from space A closer look reveals the human race Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face But afraid we may lay our home to waste
There’s a fear down here we can’t forget Hasn’t got a name just yet Always awake, always around Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down Ashes, ashes, all fall down
Now watch as the ball revolves and the night-time falls And again the hunt begins and again the blood wind calls By and by, again, the morning sun will rise But the darkness never goes from some men’s eyes (Well I know) It strolls the sidewalk and it rolls the streets Staking turf, dividing up meat Nightmare spook, piece of heat It’s you and me, you and me
Click flash blade in ghetto night Rudy’s looking for a fight Rat cat alley, roll them bones Need that cash to feed that Jones And the politicians throwing stones Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down Ashes, ashes, all fall down
Commissars and pinstripe bosses roll the dice Anyway they fall, guess who gets to pay the price? Money green, or proletarian gray Selling guns instead of food today So the kids they dance and shake their bones And the politicians throwing stones Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down Ashes, ashes, all fall down
Heartless powers try to tell us what to think If the spirit’s sleeping then the flesh is ink History’s page will be neatly carved in stone The future’s here, we are it, we are on our own On our own, on our own, we are on our own
If the game is lost, then we’re all the same No one left to place or take the blame We will leave this place an empty stone Or that shining ball of blue we call our home
So the kids, they dance, they shake their bones And the politicians throwing stones Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down Ashes, ashes, all fall down
Shipping powders back and forth Singing black goes south and white comes north And the whole world full of petty wars Singing I got mine and you got yours While the current fashions set the pace Lose your step, fall out of grace The radical, he rant and rage Singing someone got to turn the page And the rich man in his summer home Singing just leave well enough alone But his pants are down, his cover’s blown And the politicians throwing stones So the kids, they dance, they shake their bones ‘Cause it’s all too clear we’re on our own Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down Ashes, ashes, all fall down
Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free It’s dizzying, the possibilities
Ashes, ashes, all fall down Ashes, ashes, all fall down…
There in the gloam of Soldier Field, those who had been part of The Trip and those who had only heard of it had come together as though on the rim of a volcano on the verge of a final massive eruption. Those who sensed there is no escape chose to face it by gathering one last time on that edge to surrender with love and joy in a frenzy of ecstatic dance to surrender . That moment, that first set’s ending, was truly the final message of the Grateful Dead.
The second set was nurturing, and as if to help us recover from what we had been shown. They told us to keep truckin’, and sang of the passing of their peripatetic friend Neil Cassady (an inspirational figure in Beat literature, such as Dean Moriarty in Jack Keroac’s On the Road, and with Kesey a seminal figure in the Beat-Hippie bridge), and the spiritual echoes Cassady left in his wake (including the birth of Cassady Law to a crew member of the Grateful Dead):
I have seen where the wolf has slept by the silver stream.
I can tell by the mark he left, you were in his dream. Ah child of countless trees, ah child of boundless seas.
What you are, and what you’re meant to be Speaks his name, though you were born to me, Born to me, Cassidy.
Lost now on the country miles in his Cadillac. I can tell by the way you smile, he is rolling back. Come wash the nighttime clean, come grow the scorched ground green.
Blow the horn, and tap the tambourine. Close the gap of the dark years in between You and me, Cassidy.
Quick beats in an icy heart, catch colt draws a coffin cart, There he goes and now here she starts, hear her cry.
Flight of the seabirds Scattered like lost words, Wield to the storm and fly.
Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by it’s own design. Nothing to tell now, let the words be yours, I’m done with mine. Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by it’s own design. Nothing to tell now, let the words be yours, I’m done with mine.
See official version from 1980:
They moved on with (among others) an incomparable “Terrapin Station”, ended with “Not Fade Away,” and double-encored with “Touch of Grey” (“I will get by, I will survive”) then, to close, “Attics of My Life”:
In the attics of my life… When there was no ear to hear, you sang to me…. When there were no strings to play, you played to me…. Where all the pages are my days, and all the lights grow old. When I had no wings to fly, you flew to me, you flew to me…
In the secret space of dreams, where I dreaming lay amazed. When the secrets all are told, and the petals all unfold. When there was no dream of mine, you dreamed of me.
It was a beautiful second set, played with the tenderness of a last parting. But I had no doubt that what the Grateful Dead came for was to create that singular, unrepeatable moment that occurred when the narrative arc of “America’s Band” celebrated its conclusion in Soldier Field as we all bid each other “Fare Thee Well” in a dusk of fear, darkness, and dizzying possibilities.
As if all that we have covered in earlier chapters of this long story were not enough, Yank Barry also perpetrated what is regarded by some art scholars as one of the biggest—if not the biggest—art fraud in all of history, a fraud that saw Yank Barry acquiring ten sets of 74 sculptures (or a total of 740 sculptures), all of which purported to be genuine bronze casts of sculptures by the famous artist Edgar Degas, and then immediately claiming that one set of 74 sculptures was alone worth $37.33 million, while some later reports suggested that all 740 sculptures could be worth as much as $533 million, when the truth was that Yank had paid only $1,369 for each of those sculptures (or around $1 million for all 740 sculpture), and none of the sculptures were, in fact, authentic works of Degas.
Yank purchased the sculptures from an outfit called the Degas Sculpture Project, which claimed to have discovered previously unknown and genuine plasters of Degas sculptures at a foundry in Paris, and then contracted the foundry to mold from the plasters the ten sets of bronze sculptures, with 74 sculptures per set (for a total of 740 sculptures). The owner of the Degas Sculpture Project was a man named Walter Maibaum, and unsurprisingly, Maibaum was a close associate of Yank Barry.
The foundry that made the sculptures from the alleged Degas plasters was a controversial foundry called the Valsuani Foundry. Maibaum told me that Yank Barry had nothing to do with having the alleged Degas sculptures made at the foundry, but Yank Barry at least claimed that he dealt directly with the foundry, and that he acquired additional sets of alleged Degas sculptures from this same foundry.
Either way, Yank and Maibaum are in agreement that the first set of 74 sculptures alone is worth at least $37.33 million, while there have been reports, likely planted by Yank, that all ten sets of sculpures (i.e. all 740 sculptures acquired by Yank) could be worth as much as $533 million (i.e. more than a half billion dollars).
It is unclear whether the Valsuani Foundry made more than ten sets of the sculptures, though Yank has claimed that he acquired directly from the Vulsuani Foundry some number of additional sets beyond the tens sets that he purchased from the Degas Sculpture Project. Maibaum of the Degas Sculpture Project has stated that he was directly involved with the operations of the Valsuani Foundry, and, of course, it was the Degas Sculpture Project that contracted with the Valsuani Foundry for the manufacture of at least the ten sets of sculptures that the Degas Sculpture Project ultimately sold to Yank Barry.
The man described as the Valsuani Foundry’s “driving force,” however, is Leonardo Benatov, who claims to be a descendent of Armenian-Russian royalty and who recently adopted the name Prince Leonardo Argoutinsky-Dolgorouky.
When some people in the art world questioned whether Benatov was really a prince, Benatov’s legal advisor, a man named Jean Francois Marchi, said that he had hired a scholar to document Benatov’s ancestry and that this scholar had determined that Benatov’s right to the title of “Prince” came from his father’s mother’s side of the family. Titles of nobility are usually passed from the father’s side of the family, but Marchi told a prominent art publication called ARTnews, among others, that Czar Paul I (r. 1796-1801) granted Benatov’s forebears (as ARTnews put it) “a special dispensation for their titles to pass through either side of the family.”
In addition to adopting the persona of a Russian-Armenian prince, Benatov often states that he is related by marriage to a family of cannibals in Brazil.
As ARTnews reported after interviewing Benatov, “In 1959, the 16-year-old Benatov set off for Brazil to make his fortune. It was there that one of the more bizarre episodes of his colorful life occurred. He says he was prospecting to set up a rubber plantation, and one day when he was in the jungle traveling alone by boat he was abducted by Indians from a remote tribe, who kept him captive for two years. He has photos of a young woman he says he married and fathered a son with, and a father-in-law he says was a cannibal. He escaped when he told his father-in-law, the tribal chief, that he had to go off hunting and fishing for two months and then simply didn’t return to the tribe. He says he went back two years later to document the story.”
I have been unable to confirm Benatov’s claims, as there is, in fact, no documentation supporting any of it (or, at least, no documentation that has been made public), but since I have also been unable to prove that Benatov’s claims are false, we shall start by simply accepting at face value the story thus far: that Leonardo Benatov is a Russian-Armenian prince (Prince Leonardo Argoutinsky-Dolgorouky) who was, for two years, held captive by a tribe of cannibals in Brazil, and who, while in captivity, married the daughter of the tribal chief, himself a cannibal, before escaping, and later in life, at the behest of Walter Maibaum, if not also Yank Barry, manufactured at least ten sets of putatively genuine Degas sculptures, with reports that those ten sets of sculptures are worth as much as $533 million.
The alternative, as the reader should know by now, is that we might not believe any story associated with Yank Barry, who is, as I have already established, the world’s greatest con. In any event, after acquiring his first set of 74 alleged Degas sculptures, Yank Barry produced an appraisal from a New York art dealer named Stewart Waltzer, who reported that the first set of 74 sculptures was, in fact, worth no less than $37.33 million. The appraisal reported further that just one of those sculptures, which purported to be a genuine bronze cast of a sculpture called Little Dancer at Aged Fourteen, the most prized Degas sculpture of all, was alone worth no less than $15.33 million.
When other art dealers began questioning the authenticity of the sculptures, it emerged that Waltzer had been paid by Yank Barry himself to produce his appraisal, but that emerged later, long after Yank had perpetrated his fraud. Meanwhile, Yank told people that his Global Village Champions Foundation had paid up to $20.33 million for the first set of 74 sculptures (valued at $37.33 million, according to Waltzer’s appraisal), and Yank began selling the sculptures for “charity.” It was flatly untrue that Yank paid anywhere close to $20.33 million: He paid only $400,330 for the first set of 74 sculptures, as we will discuss in a moment.
The Global Village Champions Foundation also began selling raffle tickets over the internet with promises that all of the income from this raffle would go to child victims of a devastating earthquake in Haiti, and that winners of the raffle would take home various Degas sculptures, while one lucky winner would take home the most celebrated Degas sculpture of all, the Little Dancer.
Yank said he expected that so many people would buy the raffle tickets that the raffle would earn around $100 million for the Global Village Champions Foundation (which would, according to Yank, use the money to feed Haitian earthquake victims, most of them children). But Haitian earthquake victims never saw a dime from Yank, and the background to this raffle was partly revealed in a 2013 lawsuit that the Degas Sculpture Project filed against Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation.
The Degas Sculpture Project, as we know, had sold the first set of supposed Degas sculptures to Yank Barry (or, more specifically, to Yank’s ‘charity,” the Global Village Champions Foundation), and in its lawsuit, the Degas Sculpture Project claimed that it had signed a contract with Yank on November 15, 2008 whereby the Global Village Champions Foundation would purchase at least two sets of 73 Degas bronze sculptures with an option to buy eight additional sets. From that contract, another two contracts followed: a February 2009 confidentiality agreement and a November 2009 purchase of 10 sets of 74 “Valsuani Edition” Degas bronzes, including one cast of the celebrated Little Dancer in each of the ten sets.
In its lawsuit, the Degas Sculpture Project revealed that Yank, through the Global Village Champions Foundation, had paid only $1,o13,330 for all of the sculptures in his possession. Elsewhere, Maibaum, owner of the Degas Sculpture Project, clarified that Yank had paid only $400,330 for the first set of 74 Degas sculptures, including the LittleDancer, and subsequently paid a bit more for the additional sets of Degas sculptures, with his total payment being $1,013,330.
In other words, while Yank had told people he paid up to $20.33 million for the first set of 74 sculptures, including the Little Dancer, and while the Waltzer appraisal reported that those 74 sculptures were worth no less than $37.33 million, the truth was that Yank had paid only $400,330 for those 74 sculptures. And while there were reports that the ten sets of 74 sculptures per set (740 sculptures) were, all together, worth as much as $533 million, the truth was that Yank had paid only $1,013,300 for all ten sets of sculptures. That, of course, works out to an average of ($1,013,330/740) around $1,369 per sculpture, though Yank, with help from the Waltzer appraisal, was able to claim that one cast of the Little Dancer was alone worth $15.33 million
When Yank placed some of these sculptures on consignment with prominent art galleries, he consistently told owners of the galleries that his sculptures were worth millions of dollars, so, for example, when he placed 12 of his supposed Degas sculptures on consignment with a gallery in Sarasota called R&R Bond Galleries, he told the owner of that gallery that he had paid $17.33 million for the 12 sculptures (when he had, in fact, paid about $18,000 for them).
In one of several phone conversations I had with Yank Barry, he admitted to me that he had paid only “around $1 million” for all ten sets of the sculptures (despite the fact that he had publicly stated that he paid up to $2o.33 million for just the first set of 74 sculptures alone), but he stated that his payment of “around $1 million” was just a down payment, and that he had returned all of the sculptures to Maibaum of the Degas Sculpture Project after he learned that the sculptures might not be authentic.
At the same time, however, Yank insisted that the sculptures are, in fact, authentic, and we will see that, to this day, he is still offering many of those sculpture for sale, telling people that they are master works of art, worth many millions of dollars. In other worlds, not only do the facts show that Yank Barry was lying to people, but also, given the facts that he has acknowledged to me on the phone, he himself knows and unwittingly admits that he was lying to people.
The lawsuit that the Degas Sculpture Project filed against Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation alleged that after Yank contracted to buy the ten sets of the supposed Degas sculptures, “defendant Barry continuously and systematically represented to plaintiff that he would (i) fund the sales of the sets he had committed to purchase; (ii) deliver notable and qualified third-party purchasers; (iii) provide placement opportunities for the works that would enhance their accessibility to the public, reputation and marketability (i.e. with prominent collectors or celebrities).”
Instead, according to the Degas Sculpture Project complaint, Yank “proposed raffling off the first set of [74 sculptures, including the ‘celebrated’ Little Dancer] to those who offered a minimum contribution to his charity, Global Village Champions Foundation.”
The complaint continued by stating that the Degas Sculpture Project “declined the invitation to sell the set and Little Dancer to [the Global Village Champions Foundation] under these circumstances because the proposed scheme [i.e. the raffle] seemed to be unlikely to succeed and because [Degas Sculpture Project] would lack control over any resulting publicity and the sensitive secondary market. [Degas Sculpture Project] was also concerned that the raffle idea, despite the underlying charitable cause, could serve to diminish the reputation of the works.”
Yank responded, according to the complaint, by “falsely stating that he had acquired the complete set of bronzes from nonparty Leonardo Benatov of the Valsuani Foundry.”
According to the Degas Sculpture Project complaint, Yank also issued a threat, stating that he: “would use his ‘own’ set [of Degas bronzes] for the Global Village Champions Foundation raffle, which could ‘ruin’ [the Degas Sculpture Project’s] vested interest in the secondary market unless [the Degas Sculpture Project] reconsidered.”
The complaint stated that the Degas Sculpture Project “relented and agreed” in exchange for editorial control over the promotion of the raffle and a promise that the money would go to Haitian earthquake relief. But according to the Degas Sculpture Project complaint, Yank and his associates at the Global Village Champions Foundation:
“simply always intended to acquire these works for their personal benefit, under the guise and protection of the charitable shell and with as few dollars exchanged as possible. Defendant Barry in particular has simply absconded with the works, abandoned the raffle or any other purpose related to GVCF’s stated charitable purposes and has even resold or offered these items…for his personal financial gain.”
The Degas Sculpture Project’s complaint described the Global Village Champions Foundation (GVCF) as:
“ostensibly, a nonprofit charitable foundation with the stated admirable purpose of eradicating world hunger. In the circumstances described herein, however, GVCF is in actuality an instrumentality of fraud utilized for the personal benefit of its founder, directors and officers.”
The Degas Sculpture Project was, of course, stating the obvious—the Global Village Champions Foundation was “an instrumentality of fraud” (see Chapter 2 of this article)–but the Degas Sculpture Project subsequently “settled” the lawsuit and retracted its earlier statements about the Global Village Champions Foundation.
In a press release, the Degas Sculpture Project stated: “To set the record straight, Global Village Champions Foundation, Inc. is not an instrumentality of fraud, but rather a very worthy charitable organization that works to eradicate hunger around the world. The Degas Sculpture Project Ltd. has the utmost respect for Mr. Barry, a two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and…we fully commend Global Village Champions Foundation Inc. for its international humanitarian efforts.”
Why the about face?
Well, the Degas Sculpture Project was in cahoots with Yank from the beginning. The owner of the Degas Sculpture Project, Walter Maibaum, was a close associate of Yank Barry, and Maibaum had been involved with the Global Village Champions Foundation. Maibaum and Yank apparently had a falling out, which caused Maibaum to file a lawsuit in which he came clean (at least partially), but then events transpired that made him flip back to supporting Yank Barry’s con.
Maibaum had been working closely with Yank to perpetrate the fraud described above, which fraud at its core amounted to Maibaum (and Yank Barry, if we believe Yank) working with a foundry to manufacture hundreds of alleged Degas sculptures, including sculptures that purported to be casts of the most celebrated Degas sculpture of all, the Little Dancer, and then selling many of these fake sculptures, including the Little Dancer, through a Global Village Champions Foundation raffle purportedly for the benefit of children victimized by a terrible earthquake in Haiti, though no earthquake victims would see a penny.
In addition, by controlling the secondary market in Degas sculptures, and by placing some of his Degas sculptures in prominent galleries, including R&R Bond Galleries, Yank Barry intended to convince the world that he was the world’s leading dealer in Degas sculptures, that his sculptures were genuine works of Degas, and that his sculptures were worth millions of dollars.
Maibaum helped Yank Barry secure the fraudulent appraisal stating that the first set of 74 sculptures, including the Little Dancer, was worth no less than $37.33 million, and Yank, of course, stated that he expected to raise no less than $100 million by raffling off that first set of 74 sculptures. This despite the fact that Yank had paid no more than $400,330 for those sculptures, as was noted by Maibaum, though Maibaum, like Yank, claimed that this was just a down payment, while Yank maintained the fiction that he had paid up to $20.33 million for the first set of 74 sculptures.
Not only was Maibaum (founder of the Degas Sculpture Project) involved with the Global Village Champions Foundation, but Maibaum was also a 2010 winner of the Gusi Peace Prize, while another winner of the Gusi Peace Prize in 2010 was Yank Barry. Both Yank and Maibaum received their awards at a ceremony in the Philippines, right at the time when they launched the raffle of the supposed Degas sculptures, and this ceremony was held with much pomp and circumstance.
If you do a quick Google search, you will find that there are numerous websites referring to the Gusi Peace Prize as being the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize, but most of those websites were created by either Yank Barry or his associates. You will also find that Yank, at every opportunity, promotes himself as being a winner of the Gusi Peace Prize, saying that this is the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize, but the Gusi Peace Prize most certainly is not the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Gusi Peace Prize was established by one of Yank’s cronies, a guy named Barry Gusi, whose greatest claim to fame is that he was once a runway fashion model for the Armani clothing company. To be an Armani fashion model in the Philippines is about as prestigious as being a model for Fruit of the Loom underpants in the United States. Which is to say that Barry Gusi is not quite Alfred Nobel.
To be fair, while his greatest claim to fame is having been a fashion model, Gusi also claims to have once been the Philippine ambassador to Micronesia (a micro country), but it is clear that the Gusi Peace Prize, far from being the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize, was set up to for the specific purpose of promoting Barry Gusi’s cronies.
In 2010, seventeen people won the Gusi Peace Prize. One of those people, of course, was Yank Barry. Another was Walter Maibaum of the Degas Sculpture Project, who was awarded the Gusi Peace Prize for “Art Restoration” (i.e., for arranging the manufacture of the alleged Degas sculptures). Yet another winner of the 2010 Gusi Peace Prize was Buck Revell, chairman of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s illustrious advisory board. Revell was awarded his Gusi Peace Prize for “law enforcement.”
Rounding out the winners of the Gusi Peace Prize in 2010 was the famous Michael Nobel, who, of course, was another member of the Global Village Champions Foundation advisory board. Nobel was awarded the Gusi Peace Prize for “Education and Humanitarianism.” As we know from Chapter 3, Michael Nobel was no humanitarian, but he did “educate” the public by promoting Yank Barry’s ProPectin miracle cure, falsely claiming that ProPectin could rid the human body of radioactive contamination, meanwhile describing himself (falsely) as the “patriarch of the Nobel Peace Prize”.
When the Degas Sculpture Project filed its lawsuit against Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation, The National Post newspaper in Canada had recently published its story (“The World According to Yank”) casting doubt on Yank’s “alleged good deeds,” and Yank had filed a libel lawsuit against The National Post, while threatening to sue anyone else who suggested that the Global Village Champions Foundation was a fraudulent organization.
The Degas Sculpture Project’s retraction (confirming that the Global Village Champions Foundation was a “very worthy charitable organization that works to eradicate hunger around the world”) served not only to reinforce the notion that the Global Village Champions Foundation was a legitimate charity, but also communicated the message that Yank Barry would emerge victorious from any lawsuit related to the legitimacy of his charity. Furthermore, the retraction of the Degas Sculpture Project’s lawsuit reinforced the notion that the Degas sculptures purchased by Yank were authentic—which they were not.
In its lawsuit against Yank and the Global Village Champions Foundation, the Degas Sculpture Project had reported that “As a result of [Degas Sculpture Project’s] multi-year research of an apparently ‘new’ bronze edition of Edgar Degas’ famed sculpture, LaPetite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans (‘The Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen’), plaintiff, through its principals, discovered and purchased certain rights to a set of seventy-five [sic] previously unknown plaster casts made from Degas’ original wax sculptures.”
The lawsuit stated further that:
“In conjunction with the Valsuani Foundry in Chevreuse, France, plaintiff [the Degas Sculpture Project] then arranged to have sets of bronze sculptures cast from these plasters for purposes of exhibition and carefully limited sale. These bronzes, master works of art, are commonly referred to as the ‘Valsuani Edition.’ The historic and cultural significance of bringing the Degas plasters to light and the commercial value of arranging for the bronze editions to be cast from the plasters cannot be overestimated.”
This was precisely the same message that Yank was delivering at the time. It must be stressed, however, that the Degas sculptures were not authentic. (In the art world, bronze sculptures are said to be “authentic’ when the artist himself had authorized the production of bronze sculptures from his plasters, which Degas had not).
The first person to publicly cast doubt on the authenticity of the Degas sculptures was a prominent journalist named William D. Cohen, most famous for his book “House of Cards,” which is about the fall of Bear Stearns, the big investment bank that collapsed in 2008. In a 2011 article for ARTnews (a leading art publication), Cohen wrote that:
“The most respected Degas experts in the United States have questioned the origin of the [Degas] plasters [i.e. the plasters used to make the bronze Degas sculptures that Yank Barry was offering for sale], but last year the New York art dealer Stewart Waltzer appraised the set of 74 bronzes at $37.33 million….The experts who question the legitimacy and the quality of the plasters range from Gary Tinterow, chair of the department of 19th century, modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to Daphne S. Barbour and Shelley G. Sturman, National Gallery of Art conservators…”
Yank Barry was quoted in this ARTnews article as telling author Cohen that he paid “between $7 million and $20 million” for the first set of 74 sculptures, and previously, of course, Yank had advertised that he had paid up to $20.33 million. Meanwhile, Yank was still insisting the first set of 74 sculptures was worth $37.33 million, the figure cited in the Stewart Waltzer appraisal.
Noting that Yank Barry commissioned (i.e. paid for) the $37.33 million appraisal from Stewart Waltzer, Cohen quoted the appraisal as stating that “these works have been appraised as authentic works by Edgar Degas. This appraiser and this appraisal [do] not warrant the authenticity of the 74 Edgar Degas bronze sculptures from the 1998 Valsuani Edition…”
In other words, Waltzer refused to confirm the authenticity of the sculptures, but nonetheless appraised them as if they were authentic—and worth an astounding $37.33 million. Cohen wrote that “one expert who didn’t want to be identified wrote in an e-mail to ARTnews that the Waltzer appraisal provides ‘a very distressing backstage view of the confusion and delusion that has been perpetrated’” against the world of art by people [i.e. Yank] dealing in these supposed Degas sculptures.
Cohen’s story in ARTnews continued:
“The 2010 appraisal, which was done for Barry’s private use, is available on the internet, much to Waltzer’s consternation….Reached by phone, Waltzer expressed surprise that the 120-page appraisal he had done for Barry was available publicly. He did not want to talk about it or say how much Barry had paid him for his work….He said the document should not be publicly available on the internet.”
Indeed, it should not have been on the internet, because it was a fraud.
It might not have been a fraud in the legal sense since Waltzer carefully parsed his words (“these works have been appraised as authentic works by Edgar Degas. This appraiser and this appraisal [do] not warrant the authenticity of the 74 Edgar Degas sculpures…), but it was a fraud in every other sense of the word, in that it nonetheless suggested that the sculptures were worth $37.33 million, which they most certainly were not. And whether or not Waltzer himself can be held legally liable for this fraud (he can always claim that he was acting under the assumption that the sculptures might be authentic), Yank Barry was certainly perpetrating a fraud in the legal sense of the word, since he knew full well the origins of the sculptures, and the fact that he had paid only around $400,000 for that first set of 74 sculptures.
Cohen’s story in ARTnews continued: “Barry offered 50 of the sculptures as prizes in a raffle that he set up in 2010 to raise money—he said he hoped to raise $100 million—for his foundation, which Barry claims ‘strives to become the undisputed world leader in private, humanitarian delivery of nutrition to needy persons everywhere, sustaining human life and helping to eradicate hunger from the face of the Earth.’”
Cohen wrote that Yank claimed he had returned the money that he had raised from the raffle after he learned that that there were questions about the authenticity of his supposed Degas sculptures, but at the same time, Yank told Cohen that he was still convinced that the sculptures were, in fact, legitimate. And after Cohen published this article, Yank began threatening lawsuits against anyone, including ARTnews, who dared continue to assert that the sculptures were not authentic.
Meanwhile, of course, Yank continued to point to the Waltzer appraisal as evidence that the one set of 74 sculptures, including the Little Dancer, was, in fact, worth no less than $37.33 million (while the full ten sets of supposed Degas sculptures were, according to reports likely sourced from Yank, worth as much as $533 million).
Then came the Degas Sculpture Project lawsuit, and recall that while the Degas Sculpture Project lawsuit correctly described the Global Village Champions Foundation as an “instrumentality of fraud,” the lawsuit went to lengths to describe the alleged Degas sculptures that Maibaum sold to the Global Village Champions Foundation as authentic “master works of art.” When this lawsuit was filed, Yank began threatening lawsuits against other journalists who had picked up on the ARTnews story to report that the sculptures were not authentic. Yank also began to threaten lawsuits against even some of the nation’s most prominent art experts who questioned the authenticity of the sculptures and, to their dishonor, they began folding.
In addition, Yank began telling people that he had filed a libel lawsuit against The National Post for its story (“The World According to Yank”) casting doubt on Yank’s “alleged good deeds,” and, of course, the Degas Sculpture Project quickly “settled” its lawsuit, demonstrating that Yank would emerge victorious in any legal case having to do with the legitimacy of the Global Village Champions Foundation.
Soon after the Degas Sculpture Project filed its lawsuit against Yank (i.e. the lawsuit that confirmed that the Degas sculptures were “master works of art,” that being also the lawsuit that the Degas Sculpture Project would soon “settle” while issuing a press release stating that Yank’s charity was entirely legitimate), the Courthouse News reported:
Yank Barry “said he gave the ARTnews story a pass (i.e. he didn’t sue), but that he sued the National Post for an article that stated, among other things, that he sang for a Kingsmen ‘cover band’ and cast doubt upon what the paper called his ‘alleged good deeds.’ Barry told Courthouse News: ‘I’m at a point in my life where, on the record, don’t fuck with me.’”
Recall that Yank also filed a $10 million lawsuit against Wikipedia and the Wikipedia editors who had recently tried to report that Yank’s charity was dubious, that Yank wasn’t a member of the Kingsmen, and that Yank had been implicated in various crimes. Not incidentally, those Wikipedia editors had also reported on the scandal surrounding Yank’s alleged Degas sculptures.
When the Degas Sculpture Project subsequently “settled” its lawsuit and issued its retraction, Yank Barry, of course, portrayed this as a victory, one that demonstrated conclusively that the Global Village Champions Foundation was a legitimate charity, contrary to the revelations in The National Post and the revelations on Wikipedia (before Yank Barry trolls seized control of the editing of his Wikipedia page) and that the Degas sculptures he was selling were entirely authentic “master works of art.” And to repeat: because he “won” the lawsuit that the Degas Sculpture Project had filed against him, Yank was able to convince people that he would emerge victorious in any lawsuit concerning his charity and business, including his art business.
It might well be that the Degas Sculpture Project filed its lawsuit precisely so that Yank could say that he “won” the lawsuit. Alternatively, the Degas Sculpture Project genuinely had a dispute with Yank, but quickly realized that there was nothing to gain from the dispute. Either way, the result of this lawsuit was to benefit Yank, and after the Degas Sculpture Project filed and then quickly settled the lawsuit, the Degas Sculpture Project continued to help Yank perpetrate his massive fraud on the world of art.
Yank, meanwhile, continued to flaunt the appraisal valuing his first set of 74 alleged Degas sculptures, including the alleged Little Dancer, at $37.33 million, and he continued to report that he had paid up to $20.33 million for those 74 sculptures, despite the fact that he had paid $400,330, and despite the fact that most art experts questioned the authenticity of the sculptures, though now the art experts had caved to Yank’s threats and were no longer willing to speak out against the fraud for fear that Yank would hit them with a bogus libel lawsuit.
Yank Barry, wearing a Global Village Champions Foundation shirt, offering for sale what purported to be a genuine cast of “The Little Dancer, Age Fourteen” by Degas. Yank said this sculpture was worth no less than $15.33 million, but he paid around $1,500 for the sculpture
One person who did not entirely cower before Yank’s threats was William Cohen, the journalist who had exposed the fraud in ARTnews, and when others did cower before Yank’s threats, Cohen published another story about Yank’s supposed Degas sculptures in Bloomberg View, a publication of the Bloomberg News organization. This story (unlike Cohen’s previous story in ARTnews) did not identify Yank Barry by name (perhaps a bit of cowardice on the part of Cohen or Bloomberg), but the story began: “Americans rightly take great pride in the freedoms afforded to us by the First Amendment. Which is what makes ongoing self-censorship among a group of highly regarded art scholars, who work at some of our most prestigious and respected museums and universities, so deeply and profoundly disturbing.”
Cohen, in his article for Bloomberg, continued:
“Instead of speaking out publicly and forcefully against what they believe to be wrong—specifically, a questionable multimillion-dollar trade in sculptures supposedly by Edgar Degas—they instead meet in secret, communicate cryptically and repeatedly decline requests to be interviewed on the record. These experts are keeping mum not because they have doubts about the accuracy of their opinions or their facts, but because they are afraid of being sued at a time when museum and university budgets are increasingly constrained and fighting potential libel or defamation lawsuits is a decidedly low priority.”
“Degas must be turning in his grave. Before his death in 1917, he [Degas] repeatedly expressed concern that charlatans might hijack his legacy by casting sculptures in bronze and selling them to collectors, and is said to have told his fellow painter George Rouault, ‘What I fear most is not dust but the hand of man.’”
Cohen continued by reporting that Maibaum (of the Degas Sculpture Project) and another man had published an elegant catalogue describing the first set of 74 supposed Degas sculptures, including the Little Dancer (the set that had been obtained by Yank Barry for a mere $400,330), as not only authentic, but also “master works of art” that had been displayed in museums around the world. “Not surprisingly,” wrote Cohen, “the catalogue—and its hyperbole—caught the attention of Degas experts worldwide. They were appalled by the claims of Maibaum…that museums around the world—including in Israel and Bulgaria—had agreed to exhibit the bronze sets, and that they were being sold to collectors for millions of dollars.”
When I contacted Maibaum to get his side of the story, he agreed only to answer questions by email. When I sent him a list of questions by email asking about the authenticity of the Degas sculptures and his relationship with Yank Barry, he answered by writing that:
“Due to confidentiality agreements between the parties, I am not at liberty to disclose information, specific or otherwise, about the purchase of the bronzes by Yank Barry and his charity, Global Village Champions Foundation (“GVCF”), or about the sale, payments made, the litigation or the settlement.”
Maibaum did say that his Degas Sculpture Project had “made no such plans” with the Global Village Champions Foundation to raffle off many of the Degas sculptures, knowing that the Degas sculptures were not worth the amount cited by the Waltzer appraisal. This, of course, contradicts the statement in the Degas Sculpture Project lawsuit that the Degas Sculpture Project had “relented” and agreed to participate in the Global Villlage Champions Foundation raffle after Yank agreed to give the Degas Sculpture Project full ‘editorial control” over the raffle.
In answer to my questions about the authenticity of the sculptures, Maibaum wrote, “There is nothing wrong with the bronzes. They are authentic, and to the best of my knowledge no one has actually reported that the Degas sculptures are not authentic…”
“The Degas sculptures (plasters and bronzes) have been certified by both the legal heirs of Edgar Degas (the Succession Degas) and the Comité Degas which holds the right to authenticate. Furthermore, ten museums, including the Hermitage, have held exhibitions of the bronzes. Surely no museum, especially the Hermitage, which is among the world’s greatest, would exhibit the bronzes if they felt there was any question about the authenticity. This should put the matter to rest.”
Actually, it doesn’t put the matter to rest because most of the ten museums that exhibited the alleged Degas sculptures were obscure museums, while prominent museums refused to exhibit the sculptures. For example, not only did the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC refuse to exhibit the sculptures, but a National Gallery of Art catalogue entitled “Edgar Degas Sculpture,” which was described as a catalogue of all known Degas sculptures, contained a footnote stating that the sculptures made by the Valsuani Foundry (i.e. the sculptures obtained by Yank Barry and marketed with the help of Maibaum) were “intentionally not included.”
The only prominent museum to even consider exhibiting the Degas sculptures was, as Maibaum mentioned, the Hermitage museum in Russia. But far from confirming that the Degas sculptures commissioned by Maibaum were authentic, the Hermitage simply invited art scholars to a “colloquium” to discuss what were described as Maibaum’s “controversial” Degas sculptures. The colloquium was entitled “Posthumous Bronzes in Law and Art History,” and the plan was for art scholars to debate what, if anything, should be done about the “controversy” surrounding Maibaum’s sculptures (740 of which had been purchased by Yank Barry for around $1 million, or less than $1.500 apiece).
Furthermore, as “The Art Newspaper” reported, “Degas experts boycotted [the] Hermitage colloquium arranged in part to discuss a group of controversial Degas bronzes, cast from a set of plasters recently discovered at the Valsuani foundry outside Paris….The Degas experts who were invited to the seminar, but declined, include Sara Campbell, who recently retired from the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Catherine Chevillot from the Museum Rodin, the consultant and art historian Joseph Czestochowski, the leading independent curator Richard Kendall and Anne Pingeot, formerly of the Musée d’Orsay.”
Some prominent art experts, including Veronique Wiesinger, director of the Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation in Paris, urged other scholars to boycott the colloquium because there was no longer any “debate” about the authenticity of the sculpures. Art experts were nearly unanimous that the sculptures were not authentic, and Wiesinger, among others, did not want scholars to give any credibility to the claims of Maibaum and friends, including Yank Barry, by continuing to discuss the matter.
Not just Maibaum, but also Yank Barry made a point of telling me that the sculptures had been authenticated by the heirs of Edgar Degas himself and by the Comité Degas, but that is not as impressive a stamp of approval as Maibaum and Yank would have us believe. As reported by ArtNews, the “authentication” by the heirs of Degas involved somebody (who, exactly, remains unknown) hiring a “genealogical firm…to track down Degas’s heirs.” The genealogical firm allegedly “discovered that the artist’s niece, Pauline Fevre, a nun, had left her share of the rights to another nun, Berthe Vial, who in turn left them to her brother and his children. A Comité Edgar Degas was set up to represent descendants of Vial’s brother. David Steiner, a Los Angeles art lawyer who represents the heirs, refused a request to interview them.”
In other words, the Comité Degas was not a committee of experts, but rather a legal entity set up to represent the descendants of the brother of a nun who had received a share of the rights to the Degas estate from one of Degas’ nieces. These descendants of the nun’s brother are also what Maibaum and Yank mean by the “heirs of Edgar Degas.”
Maibaum has claimed that ten other “heirs” have authenticated the alleged Degas sculptures. The names of those ten other “heirs” are unknown, and, in any event, it is not up to heirs to decide whether an alleged Degas sculpture is authentic or not. It is up to experts, who determine whether Degas himself would regard the sculptures as authentic, and clearly the experts are nearly unanimous that Degas would be appalled by Yank Barry’s commerce in the alleged Degas sculptures.
Finding heirs to put their stamp of approval on the alleged Degas sculptures does, however, give Maibaum and Yank Barry some legal cover, and perhaps the heirs were enticed to cooperate with claims that the sculptures commissioned by Maibaum and Yank could be sold for as much as $533 million.
Recall that Maibaum wrote to me that the Degas sculptures were “authentic,” and Maibaum wrote, “to the best of my knowledge no one has actually reported that the Degas sculptures are not authentic…” Yank Barry also told me that the Degas sculptures were authentic and that nobody had reported that the Degas sculptures were not authentic.
It is, in fact, true that few prominent art scholars have gone on the record to say that the sculptures are not authentic, but it is also clear that Degas experts throughout the world are nearly unanimous that the sculptures are not authentic, and their reasons for not going public with their opinions were made clear in numerous reports.
Cohen, for one, reported in Bloomberg View that “a group of Degas experts agreed to meet discreetly in January 2010 at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to discuss what, if anything, they should say or do about…[Maibaum’s] seemingly outlandish claims [i.e. his claims that the alleged Degas sculptures were master works of art worth millions of dollars].”
Cohen’s story reported further that:
“Attendees at the meeting have told me that among those present were Gary Tinterow, chairman of the 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum; Richard Kendall, consultative curator at the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; Theodore Reff, professor emeritus of European painting and sculpture at Columbia University; Patricia Failing, professor of art history at the University of Washington; Sheila Sturman and Daphne Barbour, conservators and Degas specialists at the National Gallery of Art; and Arthur Beale, retired chairman of the department of conservation and collections management at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and co-author (with Kendall) of ‘Degas and the Little Dancer.’”
The experts at this meeting (i.e. the most prominent Degas experts in the United States) were unanimous that Yank Barry’s Degas sculptures (purchased from Maibaum, and promoted with Maibaum’s help) were not authentic, but Cohen noted that beginning in 2011 (when Yank Barry started issuing threats of legal action), “none of the participants in the meeting would speak with me on the record, nor would they confirm that it [the meeting] had in fact occurred, what transpired there or what they intended to do, if anything” about the bogus Degas sculptures.
“Still, on the ground that I would not attribute the comment to any individual participant, I was told that there was universal agreement among the experts that these things [the Degas sculptures that Yank Barry was selling, and the sculptures Yank had already sold, with support from the Degas Sculpture Project] were not what they were being advertised as. In declining to speak on-the-record to me, each attendee cited a fear of the potential legal consequences any criticism…might engender.”
This should be stressed: the most prominent Degas experts in the United States were in unanimous agreement that the Degas sculptures obtained by Yank Barry were not authentic “master works of art,” but not one of those experts would go on the record as stating that the sculptures were fakes. Indeed, Degas experts around the world knew the sculptures were not authentic, but few went on the record to state the truth.
In sum, the most prominent experts in the world of art had been cowed by…Yank.
As a result, there were only a few stories in the media, including the two stories by Cohen, casting doubt on the authenticity of the sculptures, and just as the few stories exposing Yank’s other frauds were ignored by the world at large, so too did the world at large ignore the few stories exposing the massive fraud that Yank perpetrated against the world of art. Naturally, Yank got away with the fraud and continues to sell fake Degas sculptures as though they are authentic.
As one extremely prominent art expert told me, “It’s a shame. It’s a fraud, and nothing less. They [Yank Barry and associates] have perpetrated one of the great art frauds of the century.”
But this prominent expert, of course, spoke only on the condition of anonymity. He and nearly every other prominent expert in the art world had been frightened into submission by…Yank. And they continue to be cowed to this day, while Yank continues to sell off the remaining Degas sculptures, advertising them as being worth millions of dollars.
While Degas experts were nearly unanimous that Yank Barry’s sculptures were not authentic, only one art scholar, a man named Gary Arseneau, went on the record to explicitly state the obvious, namely that Yank’s Degas sculptures were, in fact, “counterfeits.” Arseneau wrote that “All so-called sculptures in bronze, attributed to Edgar Degas, are 2nd to 3rd generation removed forgeries with counterfeit ‘Degas’ inscriptions applied.”
Arseneau reported further that “in 1921 Francois Thiebualt-Sisson recalled that Degas once said: ‘I modeled animals and people in wax for my own satisfaction, not to take to rest from my painting or drawing, but to give more expression, more spirit, and more life to my painting and drawings. They are exercises to get me started. My sculptures will never give that impression of completion that is the ultimate goal of the statue-maker’s trade and since, after all, no one will ever see these efforts, no one should think of speaking about them, not even you.”
“Additionally,” wrote Arsenau, “under Association of Art Museum Directors’ endorsed…ethical guidelines: ‘any transfer into new material unless specifically condoned by the artist is to be considered inauthentic or counterfeit.’ The dead don’t condone.” Degas, who, of course, is dead, never condoned the creation of bronze sculptures in his name, and so Yank’s sculptures were, of course, 100 percent counterfeits.
Without mentioning Yank Barry or Maibaum by name, Arseneau also described the Degas sculptures that Yank Barry was selling as not only “forgeries,” but also “one of the largest art frauds of the 20th/21st century.”
Nonetheless, and perhaps not surprisingly, many journalists have helped Yank pull off his Degas sculpture fraud, just as they have helped Yank pull of his other frauds. Do a quick Google search, and you will find stories in the media describing Yank as a prominent art collector, and a leading collector of sculptures by Degas.
In one recent news broadcast, a journalist visited Yank Barry’s home in the Bahamas, where Yank was holding a show for prospective buyers of his remaining supposed Degas sculptures, and the journalist reported Yank’s claim that his remaining Degas sculptures were master works of art. The journalist also repeated Yank’s claim that the sculptures were each worth millions of dollars (though Yank bought those sculptures for less than $1,500 apiece).
The journalist in this news broadcast not only failed to question Yank’s claims, but himself repeated the claims and confirmed them to be true. Naturally, Yank ensured that this news broadcast could be found all over the internet. The newscast, by a television station in the Bahamas, can be viewed here:
At the time of that newscast, Yank had, of course, already offered at least 50 of the sculptures for sale through the Global Village Champions Foundation’s raffle, with the profits of this raffle ostensibly used to feed children who were victims of a terrible earthquake in Haiti. Yank told me that he had returned the money that he raised from that raffle when people began questioning the authenticity of his supposed Degas sculptures, but Yank, of course, continued to maintain that his Degas sculptures were authentic, and he continued to maintain that his profits from the sales of his Degas sculptures would go to charity, just like the profits from his other lines of business supposedly went to charity.
So to summarize: The Degas Sculpture Project (and also Yank Barry himself, if we are to believe Yank) commissioned a foundry in Paris to mass-produce a 740 counterfeit Degas sculptures, for which Yank’s Global Village Champions Foundation ultimately paid roughly $1 million. Notably, the foundry in Paris (i.e. the Valsuani Foundry) was, at least, honest enough to label these sculptures as “reproductions,” but Yank, with the help of the fraudulent Walzer appraisal and the Degas Sculpture Project’s Walter Maibaum (winner, along with Yank, of the bogus Gusi Peace Prize), advertised these sculptures as “master works of art” worth many millions of dollars.
With such help, Yank was able to convince a lot of people that just one of the sculptures, the Little Dancer, was worth $15.33 million, and that his first set of 74 sculptures, including the Little Dancer, was worth a total of no less than $37.33 million. This was a clear-cut case of art fraud, and this alone, it should be stressed, was a felony offense—a jailable offense.
Meanwhile, Yank told people that he paid up to $20.33 million for the first set of Degas sculptures, and he had purchased an additional nine sets of Degas sculptures, with all ten sets reported to be worth as much as $533 million, though the truth was that Yank had paid no more than $400,330 for the first set of 74 sculptures, and a total of around $1 million for all ten sets of sculptures. While Yank advertised one of the Little Dancer sculptures alone as being worth $15.33 million, he paid no more than $1,500 any of these sculptures.
Keep in mind also that Yank Barry had his counterfeit sculptures shipped from France to the United States, and he shipped some of the sculptures from the United States to the Bahamas, if not also to other countries. Did the shipping documents describe those sculptures as authentic Degas sculptures? If so, that is another crime. Did Yank declare in the shipping documents the accurate purchase and likely sale price of the sculptures?
If he claimed the inflated value, that is another offense (lying on records one submits to any government is generally a felony). If he truthfully declared in the documents that he paid only $400,330 for the first set of 74 sculptures, including the Little Dancer, the documents are not only more proof of his fraud (since he told potential buyers and the wider public that he paid up to $20.33 million for the sculptures), but also evidence of tax evasion (since he didn’t pay duties commensurate with his expected resale price of the sculptures). If he declared in the shipping documents that he paid $20.33 million for sculptures worth $37.33 million, he was, of course, making a false declaration (since he paid only $400,330), which was also a violation of the law.
Shipping counterfeit art around the world is no joke. People without friends in the justice system have spent years in prison for that crime. And make no mistake: Yank Barry was (and, until this day, still is) trafficking in counterfeit art under the guise of charity, and it might well be that Yank Barry operates theGlobal Village Champions Foundation for precisely that purpose, among other similar reasons.
We already know that the Global Village Champions Foundation was used to promote the fraudulent company Biochem Solutions, and we know that the Global Village Champions Foundation has been used to promote Yank’s other dubious businesses, including his ProPectin miracle cure. So it is plausible that one of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s current purposes is to promote and serve as cover for Yank’s fraudulent art business as well.
Yank also stated that he expected to take in $100 million for child victims of the earthquake in Haiti by raffling off at least 50 of his supposed Degas sculptures, including the Little Dancer, and though he said he returned the money that he raised in that raffle, he continued to maintain that the Global Village Champions Foundation had paid up to $20.33 million for the first set of 74 sculptures.
In addition, and perhaps worst of all, Yank Barry continued to exploit the plight of hungry children, suggesting that his commerce in the Degas sculptures (all of which had been purchased by the Global Village Champions Foundation) was for the purpose of raising money for his charity, which was “striving to become the undisputed world leader in private, humanitarian delivery of nutrition” to needy children everywhere. Yank certainly made money selling his fake Degas sculptures, but there is no evidence that any of that money was used to feed needy children. That, too, was a jailable offense.
My only question: How many years in jail for ripping off starving children?
The story of Yank Barry’s charity, the Global Village Champions Foundation, begins in the 1990s, when Yank Barry established a company called Global Village Market.
In one of several phone conversations with me, Yank went to lengths to say that the Global Village Champions Foundation and Global Village Market are “two very separate things,” but the Global Village Champions Foundation certainly grew out of Global Village Market, which Yank advertised as being not only a profit-seeking company, but also a charity whose goal was to deliver one billion meals to needy people everywhere.
Currently, when the Global Village Champions Foundation claims to have delivered nearly one billion meals to needy people, most of them children, included in that tally are meals that were allegedly delivered back in the 1990s by Global Village Market. In a moment, we will closely examine the claim that Global Village Champions Foundation has delivered nearly one billion meals to needy children, and we will see that the claim is a massive fraud, but first let us learn more about Global Village Market, which was also a massive fraud, later to be known as the Global Village Champions Foundation.
While Global Village Market advertised itself as a company that was also a charity (its motto was “Doing Good by Doing Well”) with a goal to feed one billion people, Yank Barry listed Global Village Market’s shares on the World Investors Stock Exchange. Also listed on the World Investors Stock exchange was a firm called the Global Prosperity Group, and Yank Barry was involved with that outfit as well.
According to Offshore Alert, a prominent publication that covers the world of offshore crime, Yank Barry was also involved with the World Investors Stock Exchange itself. In one of several phone conversations that I had with Yank, he denied having any involvement with the World Investors Stock Exchange, other than to have listed his company (Global Village Market) on the exchange, and he said Global Village Market sold only “around $79” worth of stock on the exchange.
It seems doubtful that Global Village Market sold less than $100 worth of stock (indeed, we will see that Yank is not being honest on that score), and multiple of Yank’s associates have told me that he was more closely involved with the World Stock Investors Stock Exchange than he is letting on. But even assuming that Yank was not a principal with the World Investors Stock Exchange, it tells us something that Yank chose to list Global Village Market on this particular exchange, and it is worth discussing the exchange briefly to understand why.
The World Investors Stock Exchange was, of course, different than, say, The New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ stock exchange. In fact, the World Investors Stock Exchange, based in the offshore money laundering haven of Grenada, was a sham stock exchange that specialized in listing sham companies. Most of the ordinary people who were induced to invest in these sham companies, including Global Village Market, lost all or most of their money. Some people lost everything they had.
The World Investors Stock Exchange was a unit of the First International Bank of Grenada, which was later indicted because it was a Ponzi scheme that stole $175,330,911 from hapless investors, at which point Gilbert Allen Ziegler, the founder of First International Bank of Grenada, changed his name to Van Brink and moved to Uganda. After moving to Uganda, Van Brink and the First International Bank for Grenada (which remained in business for a time despite the indictment) held a conference for 60 Congolese rebel leaders, and promised the rebel leaders millions of dollar in aid, according to a report from the U.S. State Department.
The First International Bank of Grenada and its subsidiaries (including the World Investors Stock Exchange) also had extensive dealings with organized crime. For example, another of the First International Bank of Grenada’s principals was a man named Gerald Burns, who was also a principal with the World Investors Stock Exchange and with an outfit called Cambridge International Bank and Trust, which was an offshoot of the First International Bank of Grenada, complicit in the Ponzi scheme. At the time, Burns controlled several brokerages, including an outfit called Centex Securities, in partnership with a man named Eugene Slusker. While Burns was a key figure behind First International Bank of Grenada and its subsidiaries, Slusker was involved with First International Bank of Grenada, using the bank to launder money, while trading in stock of companies listed on the World Investors Stock Exchange.
Slusker was sometimes known as Semyan Altman. At other times, he went by the names Evgeny Slusker, Eugene Kozin, Evgeny Lozin, Evgeny Kozin, and Eugene Shuster and Slushke and Sousker and Schuster and Shuskar and etc. Which is a lot of names.
His real name, however, was Evgeny Dvoskin, and he was a major Russian organized crime figure. He was, in fact, the chief lieutenant of Vyacheslav Ivankov, also known as Yaponchik (which translates as “the Little Jap”). Ivankov was, during the 1990s, the top boss of the Russian mafia in the United States.
Both Dvoskin and Ivankov were arrested in 1995 (they shared a prison cell together), but they were both quickly released. It has since been widely reported that when Ivankov was arrested, Ivankov told the FBI that there was, in fact, no such thing as the Russian mafia. Instead, according to Ivankov, there was only “one uninterrupted criminal swamp” controlled by the Russian intelligence services.
The Ivankov syndicate had gotten its start in the United States perpetrating fuel scams in partnership with a DeCavalcante Mafia family capo named Phil Abramo, who was known in some circles as “The King of Wall Street” because he operated numerous brokerages, and leaders of the Genovese Mafia family, including a Genovese Mafia capo named Alan “Baldy” Longo, who was Abramo’s brother-in-law. When Ivankov was briefly jailed in 1995, it was on charges of having perpetrated a fuel scam in league with his top lieutenant, Dvoskin (who was, in fact, a relative of Ivankov) and members of the Genovese Mafia family (including Longo).
As I mentioned, when Ivankov was jailed, he shared a prison cell with his lieutenant, Dvoskin, but as I also mentioned, both of these mobsters were quickly released. After they were released, Ivankov returned to Moscow, but Dvoskin remained in the United States and became involved with multiple U.S.-based brokerages.
Because the documentation to which I am linking describes Dvoskin by various different names, and I wish to avoid confusion, I will repeat that Dvoskin is the same person as Eugene Slusker. He has, at various times, also gone by at least 33 other aliases. By reading through the documents to which I have linked, you will see that in addition to controlling (partially) Centex Securities, Dvoskin (or the various aliases listed above) secretly controlled (with Burns) more than a dozen U.S. brokerages. The most famous of the brokerages secretly controlled by Dvoskin was an outfit called Barron Chase.
Barron Chase was later indicted for not only the usual crimes (i.e., market manipulation, securities fraud, and extortion), but also for conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Dvoskin, meanwhile, was implicated in multiple murders, and the boss of his crime syndicate, Ivankov, was widely known as one of the most ruthless killers in organized crime. It was even reported that Ivankov boiled his victims in vats of hot oil, and while those reports might have been apocryphal, it tells us something about these mobsters that Ivankov himself boasted that the reports were true.
However, with the exception of Robert Kirk (who served as president of Barron Chase, and who went to prison) none of Barron Chase’s principals suffered any fate worse than having to pay small fines, and most of them remained in business during the years that followed. Among Barron Chase’s other principals (aside from Dvoskin and Burns) were (as noted in the indictment) the following: Arthur Gunning, an associate of the Colombo Mafia family; Craig Marino, a soldier in the Genovese Mafia family; and Ronald Giallanzo, a soldier in the Bonanno Mafia family.
Those mobsters were also involved with Centex Securities and other brokerages secretly controlled by Dvoskin and Burns, while other organized crime figures involved with those brokerages included Abramo and his brother-in-law, Alan “Baldy” Longo.
Still others involved with those brokerages (including Centex and Barron Chase) were key figures in the Persico faction of the Colombo crime family, including a Colombo Mafia capo named Danny Persico and a Colombo Mafia capo named Joseph Baudanza. Danny Persico was the son of Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico, the top boss of the Colombo crime family.
Yank Barry was not, to my knowledge, associated with all of those mobsters, but he did have ties to organized crime (see Chapter 1 of this article), and by way of introduction to our further discussion of Yank Barry’s ties to not only organized crime, but also people who have worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), it is worth nothing at this point that the chief of the FBI’s organized crime unit during the 1990s was a fellow named Lindley DeVecchio, a close associate of Yank Barry.
DeVecchio led the FBI’s investigation of First International Bank of Grenada and the World Investors Stock Exchange. DeVecchio also led the FBI’s investigation of numerous brokerages (including all those named above) that were linked to the First International Bank of Grenada. In addition, DeVecchio led all FBI investigations of the organized crime figures involved with those brokerages.
However, most of those organized crime figures were never jailed while DeVecchio was still with the FBI, and the few who were jailed (e.g. Dvoskin and Ivankov, the top two Russian mafia bosses in the United States, both implicated in multiple murders, in addition to securities fraud, conspiracy, extortion, and kidnapping, etc.) were quickly released from prison and allowed to remain in business.
This is perhaps unsurprising given that DeVecchio was later indicted on charges of having corrupt relationships with members of the Persico faction of the Colombo crime family (principals with the above-mentioned brokerages). DeVecchio was even charged with helping a Colombo Mafia capo named Greg Scarpa perpetrate (on orders from the above-mentioned Danny Persico) multiple murders during the so-called “Colombo Wars” that elevated Danny Persico’s father, Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico, to the leaderships of the Colombo crime family.
However, the FBI brass and the DOJ rallied to DeVecchio’s support, and he was acquitted on all charges. In a subsequent interview on the 60 Minutes program, DeVecchio stated that he considered some Colombo crime family bosses to be his friends and that he was proud of those relationships, though he said the relationships were not corrupt. Therefore, we may assume that he was innocent, though it appears he let mobsters literally get away with murder.
And when DeVecchio was acquitted on all charges of corruption, one person who congratulated him for his victory was Buck Revell, who, during the 1990s, was the FBI’s associate deputy director (i.e. he was second in charge at the FBI). We will return to Revell in our discussion of Yank Barry’s charity.
It needs to be stressed that all of the organized crime figures involved with Barron Chase were also involved with Centex Securities and other brokerages principally controlled by Dvoskin and his partner Gerald Burns. It also needs to be stressed that those brokerages were linked (as were Dvoskin and Burns themselves) to the First International Bank of Grenada scandal. One component of that scandal was the World Investors Stock Exchange, a sham stock exchange that specialized in listing sham companies, including Yank Barry’s Global Village Market, a company that purported to be a charity (later known as Global Village Champions Foundation).
By way of further introduction to our discussion of Yank Barry’s ties to organized crime (and also Yank Barry’s ties to multiple intelligence officials), it is important to note that in 2009, Ivankov was gunned down on a Moscow street just days after he publicly announced that members of his crime syndicate had long been employed by elements of the Russian intelligence apparatus. A few months later, in June 2010, the FBI arrested ten Russian spies who had long been operating in the United States, at which point Novoya Gazeta, a prominent newspaper in Russia (actually one of the best newspapers in the world, far better than any U.S. newspaper) was the first to report that former Russian intelligence officials alleged that the ring leader of those ten Russian spies had been none other than Dvoskin.
In other words, Dvoskin was not just a major organized crime figure, but also a Russian intelligence agent, and as the Russian media has since reported, one of Dvoskin’s jobs was to perpetrate financial crimes in the United States on behalf of the Russian intelligence apparatus. That was also one of the jobs of the ten Russian spies who were arrested in 2010, and while there is not unanimous agreement that Dvoskin was, in fact, the ring-leader of the ten Russian spies, at least two of those spies, Mikhail Semenko and Christopher Metsos, were involved with Dvoskin’s brokerages.
The fact that the two Russian spies were involved with Dvoskin’s brokerages (including Centex Securities) was first reported to DeepCapture by one of Dvoskin’s business associates (also a business associate of Yank Barry), and later confirmed to me by an FBI agent who investigated Dvoskin (and who also investigated Yank Barry, though that investigation did not result in any charges being leveled against Yank).
Dvoskin had close ties to elements of the U.S. government, and many people, including that FBI agent, believe that Dvoskin was protected by FBI management. It is, at any rate, certain that Dvoskin never did more than a few months in prison, and operated in the United States with impunity for many years.
Much of this will prove pertinent when we discuss some of Yank Barry’s more recent business ventures, but first we need to continue reviewing the history of Yank Barry’s charity, the Global Village Champions Foundation, which, of course, grew out Global Village Market, described by Yank as having been both a charity and a business.
As we know, Global Village Market listed its shares on the World Investors Stock Exchange, as did another firm called the Global Prosperity Group. The World Investors Stock Exchange listed only a small number of companies, and Yank Barry was involved with at least two of those companies, namely Global Village Market and the Global Prosperity Group, the latter of which was a company that specialized in holding conferences at which “motivational” speakers instructed attendees in various get rich-quick-schemes.
Prior to publishing this story, I spoke with Yank Barry by phone on multiple occasions over the course of one week, and in one of our phone conversations Yank stated that he was never involved with the Global Prosperity Group, but this was another case where Yank was not being entirely forthcoming. Offshore Alert reported that Yank was involved with the Global Prosperity Group, and one of Yank’s associates described to me in some detail Yank’s involvement with the Global Prosperity Group.
Offshore Alert also reported that Yank had been directly involved with the First International Bank of Grenada (and its subsidiary, the World Investors Stock Exchange), but in a phone conversation with me, Yank denied that he was directly involved with First International Bank of Grenada, just as he denied that he had been directly involved with the World Investors Stock Exchange. Yank did, however, admit that he listed his company, Global Village Market, on the World Investors Stock Exchange, and in a later phone conversation with me he conceded that he did have some involvement with the Global Prosperity Group’s motivational speakers.
The Global Prosperity Group was, as I just mentioned, in the business of holding conferences where “motivational” speakers gave attendees investment advice. The attendees of these conferences were, more specifically, convinced that they could get rich quick by investing in various companies, including Global Village Market, that were listed on the World Investors Stock Exchange. And those companies, like the World Investors Stock Exchange itself, were scams.
Global Village Market (in addition to being a charity) was a multi-level network marketing scheme ostensibly set up to sell Yank’s dehydrated meat substitute, known as Vitapro. The dehydrated meat substitute was actually manufactured by other companies, none of them owned by Yank (Yank says they were “subcontractors”), but the dehydrated meat substitute was branded Vitapro, and Yank controlled a company called Vitapro International, also known as Vitapro Foods.
The operations of Vitapro International/Vitapro Foods were, of course, closely intertwined with the operations of Global Village Market (which was set up ostensibly to sell Vitapro’s dehydrated meat substitute).
A multi-level network marketing scheme is a scheme whereby a product is sold through distributors, rather than through retailers, and the distributors are encouraged to recruit other distributors, while each distributor in the chain earns commissions on the product he or she has sold, and additional commissions on the product sold by the distributors whom he or she has recruited. Global Village Market’s supposed product, of course, was the Vitapro dehydrated meat substitute.
Although neither Global Village Market nor Vitapro actually produced or sold much dehydrated meat substitute, Yank Barry told both his distributors and his investors that the more money that Global Village Market made, the more meals (in the form of Vitapro dehydrated meat substitute) Global Village Market would deliver as charity to needy children in underdeveloped nations all around the world.
It must be stressed that neither Global Village Market nor Vitapro produced much dehydrated meat substitute. It also did not donate much in the way of dehydrated meat substitute or anything else to the needy. It is, in fact, apparent that Global Village Market was not established principally to distribute dehydrated meat substitute or to donate meat substitute to charity. Global Village Market was pure scam, set up principally to lure in hapless investors, whose money was simply pocketed by Yank.
Meanwhile, Yank Barry paid the famous boxer Muhammad Ali to promote Global Village Market and Vitapro. Other celebrities, including the famous singer Celine Dion, were convinced to endorse Global Village Market believing that Global Village Market was not a business, but a charity that had been co-founded by Muhammad Ali, and whose goal was to deliver 1 billion meals to needy people around the world.
As of 1998, Yank was reporting that Global Village Market had already delivered 133 million meals to hungry children in poverty-stricken nations around the word, but that claim was false and Global Village Market was, to repeat, a massive scam.
In 1998, journalist Rod Macdonell of the Montreal Gazette (a rare journalist who actually practiced journalism) published (in the Montreal Gazette) a 3,300 word front-page story about Yank Barry, and this story reported that Global Market Village was a scam. Numerous investors in Global Village Market had been unable to get their money back, and many of those investors had invested thousands of dollars.
That is, many of these investors had purchased thousands of dollars of stock that Global Village Market sold on the World Investors Stock Exchange, and though it is not known precisely how much Global Village Market took in, it was certainly more than $79 (the maximum amount Yank Barry told me that Global Village Market had sold on the World Investors Stock Exchange).
The story in the Montreal Gazette (the same story that was briefly discussed in the first chapter of the story you are now reading) has since been wiped from the internet, but it can now be read in full here at DeepCapture.com, and it reports that while Yank Barry pocketed the money that unwitting investors invested in Global Village Market, that company (contrary to its advertising) did not deliver many meals to charity.
Macdonell, the author of the story in the Montreal Gazette, wrote: “Barry is nowhere near the 100 million meals he says he is delivering to those children this year—the philanthropic side of his company that he uses to attract the celebrity endorsements, which he uses in turn to promote the investment side. There is very little documentation of donated food.”
In fact, even the documentation that Yank Barry provides as supposed evidence that he had delivered large quantities of food to needy children shows that Yank and Global Village Market had delivered almost nothing to charity as of 1998, when Macdonell published his story.
Yank told me during one of our phone calls that he had filed a complaint against Macdonell before the Quebec Press Council, and Yank suggested to me that Macdonell had been fired from his job for having published his story in the Montreal Gazette, but Macdonell had not been fired from his job, and while it is true that Yank filed a complaint before the Quebec Press Council, the Quebec Press Council ruled in Macdonell’s favor because Macdonell’s story was true and MacDonnell had done what journalists are supposed to do by exposing Yank as a fraud.
By contrast, as we saw in Chapter 1 of this story, most journalists have done nothing other than take dictation from Yank and his public relations operatives. Nearly all of the major news organizations have, on multiple occasions, described Yank Barry as a billionaire and noted “humanitarian” who has donated most of his money to charity, who has fed nearly one billion needy children, and who is most deserving of the nominations that he has received for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In his story for the Montreal Gazette, Macdonell reported further that “Celine Dion’s lawyer has put Barry on notice to cease and desist in his claims that the singer endorses his investment scheme or anything beyond his campaign to feed children. Muhammad Ali’s lawyer also warns that if people have been led to believe that Ali is endorsing Barry’s investment plan, they are mistaken.”
Nonetheless, the website of Yank’s charity, the Global Village Champions Foundation (which grew from the earlier Global Village Market), continues to this day to show a picture of Celine Dion, along with the claim that the singer endorses the Global Village Champions Foundation. Yank told me that Celine Dion is a friend of his, and that her photograph would not be on the Global Village Champions Foundation website if she did not endorse the Global Village Champions Foundation and its work.
Meanwhile, of course, Muhammad Ali continues to endorse the Global Village Champions Foundation, and the warning of the champ’s lawyer notwithstanding, it is likely that Muhammad Ali knew all along that he was “endorsing Barry’s investment plan” because, after all, the former boxer had been paid to do just that.
Muhammad Ali’s photograph appeared on all of Vitapro’s marketing materials and packaging (while Global Village Market was ostensibly in the business of distributing Vitapro, also ostensibly delivering a portion of its profits and product to charity).
In recent times, the only journalist to recall that earlier story in the Montreal Gazette was John O’Conner, author of the story (title: “The World According to Yank”) that raised doubts about the seriousness of Yank’s first nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize by a lawyer in Bulgaria. As discussed in the last chapter of this story, Yank has filed a libel lawsuit against The National Post, but every word of that story was true.
In that story, O’Conner also cast doubt on Yank’s “alleged good deeds,” and reported some of what had appeared in the earlier Montreal Gazette story. When O’Conner asked Yank about the earlier Montreal Gazette story, Yank suggested that Macdonell, the author of the story, had been fired, and Yank was quoted by O’Conner as saying that Macdonell “had his license pulled.”
Yank, of course, told me almost the same thing, but the truth was that Macdonell’s former editor at the Gazette had nothing but good things to say about Macdonell, and, again, after Yank complained about Macdonell’s story to the Quebec Press Council, the council returned a verdict in Macdonell’s favor because Macdonell’s story was true, and the public had a right to know about Yank’s obviously fraudulent schemes.
Macdonell never had his “license pulled” (journalists do not have licenses), and he was not fired. After receiving multiple awards for his work with the Montreal Gazette, Macdonell moved on to other jobs, and was recently employed by the United Nations Development Program to create a guide for journalists covering corruption and criminality in underdeveloped nations.
However, Macdonell’s 1998 story about Yank Barry’s “charity” has, of course, been flushed down the memory hole and it could be found nowhere on the internet until now. Readers are encouraged to read the story in full (it is posted here at DeepCapture.com).
* * * * * * * * *
As of this writing in November 2014, we know, Yank Barry is operating the Global Village Champions Foundation, which evolved from his earlier company Global Village Market. Actually, Yank has removed himself as a director of Global Village Champions Foundation, and he has also removed himself from the incorporation documents of his various companies, perhaps because Yank was recently named in a lawsuit alleging that Yank was part of a racketeering enterprise that sold millions of dollars’ worth of stolen and counterfeit art—a lawsuit to which we will return later in this story.
But Yank is still the man who operates the Global Village Champions Foundation.
Unlike Global Village Market, which was a for-profit corporation (listed on the World Investors Stock Exchange), the Global Village Champions Foundation is registered as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt charity, but just as Global Village Market was a multi-level network marketing scheme ostensibly set up to sell Vitapro (the dehydrated meat substitute), so too are the operations of Global Village Champions Foundation closely intertwined with the operations of Vitapro International.
Vitapro International was, at least until recently, based in Canada and controlled by Yank, but presently Vitapro’s website lists only two addresses for Vitapro, one in Bulgaria and one in Belize. The website provides no telephone number for Vitapro, and as I mentioned in Chapter 1 of this story, the photograph on the website purporting to be a picture of Vitapro’s corporate headquarters is a fake photograph, apparently made with Photoshop or some similar software.
When the Montreal Gazette published its front page story about Yank in 1998, that story reported that many of the supposed customers named on Vitapro’s website were not, in fact, customers, and a former employee of Vitapro says that at that time in 1998, Vitapro had sold no more than $133,000 worth of dehydrated meat substitute, though it had recently obtained the $33 million deal to supply Vitapro dehydrated meat substitute to the Texas state prisons (a deal that was voided when Yank was indicted for paying bribes to the director of the Texas state prisons).
The supposed “clients” presently listed on Vitapro’s website are mostly the same clients that were listed on Vitapro’s website back in 1998. Some of those clients were never actually clients of Vitapro, and it has proven impossible to verify whether the others (most of them identified only vaguely as, for example, “the government of Libya” and various other governments) are actually clients of Vitapro.
Yank also failed, despite my requests, to provide me with any documentation showing that Vitapro has actually sold large amounts of dehydrated meat substitute, much less the billions of dollars’ worth of product that Yank claims to have sold, and Yank did not reply to requests for documentation showing that Vitapro had any meaningful revenues or profits.
Nonetheless, the media often describe Yank as a “soy products tycoon” (a reference to the dehydrated meat substitute, which is made from soy). Meanwhile, as evidence that Yank is a philanthropist of the first order, the media and Yank report that Vitapro International donates 60 percent of its profits (or all of its profits, according to some of Yank’s statements to the media) to the Global Village Champions Foundation, which, according to Yank, uses the money to feed needy children, much as Yank previously reported that a significant percentage of Global Village Market’s profits from sales of Vitapro were delivered to charity.
Yank, of course, does not provide evidence that Vitapro has significant profits, so the question remains, 60 percent of what? As of this writing, the Global Village Champions Foundation’s website , meanwhile, reports that the Global Village Champions Foundation has donated 988,911,330 (nearly a billion) meals to needy people around the world, most of them children.
When I asked Yank if he had evidence that he had delivered large sums of money to charity, and that the Global Village Champions Foundation had delivered nearly a billion meals to needy people, he said all of the evidence could be found on the Global Village Champions Foundation’s website. When I told Yank that the evidence on the Global Village Champions Foundation website does not prove that Yank has donated much to charity, he promised to send me additional evidence, but he never did so, and in a subsequent conversation he said again that all of the evidence is on his website.
This is important because most “humanitarian” organizations willingly and quickly respond to any request to show proof of their charity, and again, neither Yank nor the Global Village Champions foundation was forthcoming with any proof other than the documents on the Global Village Champions Foundation website. Those documents, as will see momentarily, are nothing more than proof that the Global Village Champions Foundation and Yank have made only small donations to charity, while fraudulently describing the Global Village Champions Foundation as an organization that is striving to become “the undisputed world leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition to needy persons everywhere, sustaining life, and helping to eradicate world hunger…”
Yank operates another company, ProPectin, which, like Vitapro, claims to donate 60 percent of its profits to charity. ProPectin is based in Bulgaria, and ProPectin manufactures an apple pectin product under the brand name ProPectin.
It is, in fact, clear that one reason why Yank Barry operates Global Village Champions Foundation (a reason that has nothing to do with charity) is to convince distributors to sell more of his ProPectin product, much as he operated Global Village Market to convince distributors to sell his Vitapro product. Yank has sold much of his ProPectin product in partnership with a company called Jeunesse Global, which is a multi-level network marketing scheme similar to Global Village Market.
In November of this year (2014), Yank told me that he had cut off all relations with Jeunesse Global because the company is, according to Yank, crooked and it rips off its customers and distributors. He said, “I wouldn’t touch them [Jeunesse Global] with a ten foot pole.”
When I called the phone number that Jeunesse Global’s website lists as the number of its corporate headquarters, I got a recorded message that said “Thank you for your patience, we should be with you soon,” but no real person ever picked up the phone, and so I was unable to ask anyone about Yank’s comments, or confirm whether Yank was telling me the truth when he said he had cut off all relations with Jeunesse Global.
In any event, it is certain that Yank was working closely with Jeunesse Global as of early this year (2014), if not also later, and Jeunesse was closely involved with the Global Village Champions Foundation’s supposed charity. To this day, videos on the Global Village Champions Foundation website purporting to show Global Village Champions Foundation delivering food to needy people state that these missions of charity were conducted in partnership with “Jeunesse Kids,” an initiative of Jeunesse Global.
As of early 2014, if not also later, Jeunesse distributors sold just a few products, namely a few skin care products that allegedly could make your face look younger, and Yank’s ProPectin, which is also advertised as an anti-aging product.
Yank and his hired spokesmen say that ProPectin has various miracle properties. Not only is it an anti-aging product, Yank says, but ProPectin is able to cure diabetes, it is able to protect the body from cancer, and it is able to eliminate radioactive contamination from human bodies that have been exposed to radioactive fallout (and everyone, according to Yank, is a potential customer for such a product because everyone has been exposed to radioactive fallout from the Fukushima disaster in Japan, as well as other sources).We will see, though, that no credible medical professional has provided evidence that ProPectin has any of those miracle properties.
Jeunesse Global regularly holds conventions for its distributors, and Yank has appeared at those conventions. At all of these conventions, Yank has repeated the fraudulent claim that he was once the lead singer of the Kingsmen (see Chapter 1 of this article for more on Yank’s false claim to have been a member of the Kingsmen), and at some of the conferences, Yank has sung the famous Kingsmen song “Louie Louie,” backed up by famous musicians, including Gary U.S. Bonds (who endorses the Global Village Champions Foundation). See the following video of Yank singing “Louie Louie” at Jeunesse’s 2012 annual convention.
Yank has also given speeches at these conventions, telling Jeunesse distributors that the more ProPectin they sell, the more meals the Global Village Champions Foundation will deliver to needy people around the world. Have a look at this video of Yank speaking at another recent Jeunesse convention, held in early 2014:
As you can see in that video, Yank announced that the Global Village Champions Foundation had joined forces with Jeunesse (which, of course, was selling ProPectin via its multi-level network marketing scheme), and Yank stated: “Global Village started by mistake. I spent 33 years in the music business. Most of you are too young to remember ‘Louie Louie.’ I sang that when I was nine years-old.”
That was, perhaps, a veiled confession because far from having anything to do with “Louie Louie,” that song was written (by Richard Berry) way back in 1959, when Yank was indeed nine years old. The band known as the Kingsmen, which recorded the song “Louie Louie,” was formed in 1963, when Yank was 13, and the Kingsmen bought the song “Louie Louie” from Richard Berry, who, unlike Yank, was an elderly black man.
At the Jeunesse convention, Yank continued: “For some reason I ended up in the food business, and wanted a spokesperson, and at that time Muhammad Ali had become a recluse…I said, ‘Ali we’ve got this great food product, and if we take a portion of our profits, we can feed kids’….Ali opened up the world for us. We started feeding children really from the heart…All of a sudden we got a call from Celine. We got a call from Michael Jordan. And Bill Clinton. Buzz Aldrin…all of these people wanted to be part of this organization.”
When Yank said he got a call from Celine, he, of course, referred to her only by her first name, but everyone in the audience knew he meant Celine Dion. It was true that Celine Dion endorsed Yank’s “charity” back in the 1990s, when she thought it was purely a charity, but recall that in 1998, her lawyers issued a warning to Yank, telling him to stop using her name to promote his business (which was the same thing as his charity, a multi-level marketing scheme similar to the one Yank was promoting at the Jeunesse convention).
It was also true that astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was involved with Yank’s charity, but more on him later in this story.
As for Michael Jordan, I have found no evidence that he was involved with Yank’s charity, but Yank does know Michael Jordon personally, and Yank has convinced other sports celebrities, including Muhammad Ali, to become involved with his charity.
And how about Bill Clinton? Did Yank “get a call” from the president of the United States back in the 1990s, when Yank founded Global Village Market (now known as Global Village Champions Foundation), and did the president subsequently become involved with Yank’s charity?
I have found no evidence that Bill Clinton has been involved with Yank’s charity in any way, but Yank’s scams are of such magnitude, and such is the depravity of our government, that I would not rule out the possibly that even multiple U.S. presidents, past and present, are involved in some way with Yank Barry. After all, multiple members of the U.S. Congress nominated Yank for the Nobel Peace Prize. And I can’t help but repeat that there was, for a time (and this tells us all we need to know about our Congress), an officially designated “Yank Barry American Flag” flying on top of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC.
At the Jeunesse convention, Yank continued: “The unique thing about Global Village is that we have never accepted a donation.” Which was not true; Yank has held all manner of raffles and charity fundraising events where he has sold stuff for his “charity,” though it might be true that the people who bought stuff from Yank were not so much donating to charity as donating to Yank Barry. Yank also told me that his charity had numerous “corporate sponsors,” the suggestion being that corporations were donating money to the Global Village Champions Foundation.
Later in his speech at the convention, Yank said, “Now, I said we don’t accept donations. But I’m going to tell you about this contest were having.” The contest being a contest to see who could sell the most ProPectin for “charity,” along with a raffle of various items Yank was selling for “charity.”
Yank continued: “We are the only 501-c [non-profit charity] that has zero administration. A dollar comes in, a dollar goes to the children…We’ve been approached by many, many, network marketing companies in the past….We’ve never accepted a network marketing company [with the exception of Jeunesse].”
Neither of those statements were true. If “a dollar comes in, and a dollar goes to the children” (he was referring to dollars coming in from sales of ProPectin), that means Yank is donating 100 percent of his revenues (i.e. every dollar) to “the children.” And, again, we will see that Yank hasn’t donated large amounts of anything to charity.
Yank says “we’ve never accepted a network marketing company” with the exception of Jeunesse, but, of course, the Global Village Champions Foundation was formerly known as Global Village Market, which was itself a “network marketing company.”
At the convention, Yank went on to say, “Some of our partners around the world are Rotary International, International Red Cross, Salvation Army, church groups around the world…”
That also wasn’t true. I called those organizations, and their spokesmen confirmed that none of those organizations are “partners” of Global Village Champions Foundation. We will, in addition, see that Yank has not been involved with those organizations in any way that would suggest that he is striving to be “the undisputed world leader” in providing nutrition to needy people.
At the Jeunesse convention, Yank continued, “We document it all. We don’t document it all because of the publicity. We document it all because no good deed goes unpunished. There’s always an investigative reporter that’s gonna go ‘Well, how do we know you fed this many people?’ So please go to our website: we have manifests, shipping documents, field reports, pictures, it’s all there. We have fed more than that [i.e. more than the nearly one billion people claimed on the Global Village Champions Foundation website]. We don’t keep count of all that we have done.”
I went to the Global Village Foundation Champions website and did not find shipping documents and manifests showing that the Global Village Champions Foundation had donated close to one billion meals to needy children. Instead, I found a number of shipping documents and receipts, along with letters from various charities and others, all of which, taken together, proved the scope of Yank Barry’s fraud.
It is evident from the documents on the Global Village Champions Foundation website that the Global Village Champions Foundation has delivered some food and other items to needy people, and I do not mean to disparage any act of charity, no matter how small, but it is also evident that the Global Village Champions Foundation has donated only just enough to keep up appearances–that is, to enable Yank Barry to portray himself as a leading humanitarian and to enrich himself by exploiting the plight of hungry children.
I will now provide a description of everything that I found on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, and as I do so, keep in mind that the Global Village Champions Foundation and the media have repeatedly reported that the Global Village Champions Foundation has delivered nearly one billion meals to needy people, most of them children, and that the Global Village Champions Foundation is (to quote the Global Village Champions Foundation website) striving to become “the undisputed world leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition to needy persons everywhere, sustaining life, and helping to eradicate world hunger…”
As we go through the evidence that I found on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, also keep in mind that the work of the Global Village Champions Foundation was the ostensible reason why Yank Barry has received multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, along with other honors, such as the “Yank Barry American flag” flying on top of the U.S. Capitol building.
As we saw in Chapter 1 of this article, the first person who nominated Yank for the Nobel Peace Prize was Kiril Gorianov, a Bulgarian lawyer who was the Global Village Champions Foundation’s representative in Bulgaria, so that nomination did not quite count as a real nomination, but this year (2014) Yank received nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize from no less than three members of the U.S. Congress, including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who, in a speech on the floor of Congress honoring Yank Barry, repeated the claim that the Global Village Champions Foundation was (to quote the congresswoman precisely) “striving to become the undisputed world leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition to needy persons everywhere, sustaining life, and helping to eradicate world hunger…”
As we go through the evidence that I found on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, keep in mind also that Yank Barry told me that this was all the evidence that he had, and that this was all the evidence I needed. When I asked Yank if he could provide additional evidence, he said that he would, and when he failed to do so, he repeated, in a subsequent phone conversation, that all the evidence that I needed could be found on the Global Village Champions Foundation website.
What I found on that website was supposed evidence sorted by year. I have downloaded all of the evidence that I found on that website, and am providing here links to documents that I found on that website. I encourage readers to view my links, and then view the Global Village Champions website, as there is a chance that Yank Barry will alter the website after I publish this article.
The “Making a Difference” section of the website has a “Relief Timeline” link that takes you to a large number of documents sorted by year, so I will begin by discussing what was found under each of those years.
By far the most extensive documentation was provided for the year 2014, and most of the documentation was in the form of numerous receipts for items that the Global Village Champions Foundation allegedly purchased for charity. I have created a document (posted here at DeepCapture.com) that lists purchase prices found on each of the receipts, and provides links to the receipts themselves.
Most of the receipts are in Bulgarian currency and for relatively small purchases, ranging from less than a dollar to around $1,000 (converted from Bulgarian currency). The only exceptions are two receipts, one for around 24,000 Bulgarian Leva (around $15,000 U.S.), and one for around 22,000 Bulgarian Leva (around $14,000). The remaining receipts (more than 100 of them) add up to a total expenditure in 2014 of around $48,000 (converted from Bulgarian currency).
Most of those receipts were not for purchases of food (many of the receipts are for items like fuel and printer cartridges), but even if all the receipts were all for purchases of food, and even if all that food had been delivered to needy people, the total expenditures evidenced by those receipts suggest that the Global Village Champions Foundation, in 2014, spent around what one would pay for a high-end automobile. To put this in further perspective, consider that just one Rotary club, on average, can be expected to raise far more than $1 million for charity in any given year, and there are thousands of Rotary clubs around the world, while Rotary International, unlike the Global Village Champions Foundation, does not advertise itself as an “undisputed leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition…”
In addition, there is no evidence that the items purchased by the Global Village Champions Foundation in 2014 were actually delivered to needy people. Even if they were delivered, it must be stressed that the receipts provided by the Global Village Champions Foundation add up to what one would pay for a single high-end automobile, and most of the receipts were not for food. Again, though I do not mean to disparage any act of charity, I do mean to suggest that the Global Village Champions Foundation has taken in a lot more than $50,000 with its fraudulent claim to have fed nearly one billion needy people, and most of the money that the Global Village Champions Foundation took in was not delivered to charity.
Remember that Yank tells his distributors, among others, that he uses at least 60 percent of his profits from his sales of ProPectin alone to buy food for needy children. Yank also told me that he is selling ProPectin in 52 nations around the world, and he has suggested that he earns huge profits from his sales of ProPectin. But he is lying to his distributors when he says that at least 60 percent of those profits are used to buy food for needy children and that the evidence of this can be found on the Global Village Champions Foundation website.
Aside from the receipts shown for 2014, the Global Village Champions Foundation’s website contained a few shipping documents purporting to be evidence of items shipped for charity in 2014. One of these documents (posted here at DeepCapture.com) was a shipping document showing that Yank’s company, Vitapro, had shipped 500 kilograms of ProPectin product to ProPectin’s office in China.
The Global Village Champions Foundation website reports that this ProPectin was “donated to China for Radiation/Pollution victims,” but there is no evidence that it was, in fact, “donated” (rather than sold), and it is hard to imagine that any legitimate charity in China would accept a donation of ProPectin, which, contrary to Yank’s claims, has not been proven by any credible medical scientist to rid the body of radioactive fallout and pollution. ProPectin also is not food.
Aside from that, the Global Village Champions Foundation website shows, as evidence of its charity work in 2014, one shipping document (posted here at DeepCapture.com) indicating that around 20,000 kilograms of Vitapro was shipped from Aliments Ed Foods, a subcontractor that manufactures the Vitapro dehydrated meat substitute, to the Global Village Champions Foundation in Bulgaria under the name of Kiril Gorianov, the Bulgarian lawyer who nominated Yank Barry for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Gorianov is also Vitapro’s representative in Bulgaria.
A document purporting to show that Vitapro’s subcontractor shipped 20,000 kilograms of Vitapro meat substitute to Vitapro’s representative in Bulgaria is not evidence that the Vitapro was donated to needy children. If it had been donated to needy children, Yank would have provided me with additional evidence to prove that it had been donated.
Even if we are to assume that it was donated, that 20,000 kilograms of Vitapro was the largest shipment of food in 2014, judging by the evidence on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, and 20,000 kilograms of Vitapro costs less than $20,000. It is also a lot less than a billion meals.
As further evidence of its charity in 2014, the Global Village Champions Foundation includes on its website a shipping document (posted here at DeepCapture.com) addressed to “Saint Vincent de Paul” in Arizona from a company called Vican Trading. The space on this shipping document where one would normally write in what was shipped and at what price is entirely blank, and the shipping document is not signed, meaning it is likely, in this case, that nothing at all was shipped. This is just a random, blank document that Yank posted as supposed evidence of his charity.
Another document on the Global Village Champions website, purporting to be evidence of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s charity in 2014, is a shipping document (posted here at DeepCapture.com) showing that the same company, Vican Trading, shipped 1,270 pounds of “New Commercial Goods” to a man in Miami. Shipping new commercial goods to Miami is not an act of charity, and this document, like the one mentioned above, does not name the Global Village Champions Foundation.
Yet another shipping document for 2014 (downloaded from the Global Village Champions Foundation website, and posted here at DeepCapture) is also from Vican Trading, this one addressed to the “Las Vegas Rescue Mission.” But again, the space on the document that is supposed to identify what was shipped is entirely blank, and the signature line is blank as well, meaning that this document is not evidence that anything at all was shipped, and could well be just a random, blank document that Yank included as supposed (and entirely unconvincing) evidence of his charity.
Also posted as evidence of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s charity in 2014 is a certificate from the Red Cross in China thanking Yank personally for donating around $60,000 worth of rice, and a letter from an outfit in Bulgaria thanking the Global Village Champions Foundation for donating 50,000 gallons of water. Those are the two most convincing documents on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, and that $60,000 worth of rice, along with 50,000 gallons of water, is not evidence that Yank is the “undisputed world leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition.”
The only other documents that the Global Village Champions Foundation posts as evidence of its charity in 2014 are documents from a “charity” called the Universal Aide Society purporting to show that the Universal Aide Society received from Yank Barry and distributed to the needy 1,440 buckets of Vitapro dehydrated meat substitute. The Universal Aide Society, based in Yank’s hometown of Montreal, was operating illegally because the Canadian Revenue Agency, back in 2009, revoked the Universal Aide Society’s license to operate as a charity, and reported that the Universal Aide Society could not show that its activities were charitable.
The Canadian Revenue Agency stated in part that the Universal Aide Society “has not shown that through its programs and arrangements for the undertaking of activities, it devotes all of its resources to its own charitable activities.” The Canadian Revenue Agency stated further that the Universal Aide Society “has not shown that [its] activities are charitable…” According to the Canadian Revenue Agency, the Universal Aide Society’s principals were using money from their donors to fund their vacations in the south of France and other popular vacation destinations. The Universal Aide society also used money from donors to buy hand bags, smoked salmon, duty-free cigarettes and various luxury items unrelated to charity.
Soon after its registration was revoked, the Universal Aide Society was exposed in a big Forbes magazine article as a fraud that had falsely claimed to be delivering food to Serbian residents of Kosovo. Rather than rehash all of the facts contained in that Forbes Magazine article, I will simply encourage readers to see the article themselves (click here to read the article). See also a lengthy document from the Canadian Revenue Agency (posted here at DeepCapture.com) providing details of the reasons why the Canadian Revenue Agency determined that the Universal Aide Society was not engaged in any actual charitable activities, and why its license was revoked.
We will see that in years prior to 2014, far more of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s alleged deliveries of food to the needy was, more specifically, delivered (or not delivered at all) through the Universal Aide Society.
When, during one of my phone conversations with Yank, I mentioned to Yank that the Universal Aide Society’s license had been revoked in 2009, he assured me that its license had been quickly reinstated. But when I contacted the Canadian Revenue Agency to ask whether the Universal Aide Society’s license had been reinstated, I received an email from a Canadian Revenue Agency spokeswoman (the email is posted here at DeepCapture.com) confirming that the Universal Aide Society’s license had most certainly not been reinstated.
The Canadian Revenue Agency spokeswoman also confirmed that the Universal Aide Society’s license had been revoked because the Canadian Revenue Agency had determined that the Universal Aide Society was not engaged in any actual charity work. The spokeswoman sent me a long document (i.e. the document to which I provided a link above) outlining the many reasons why the Canadian Revenue Agency determined that the Universal Aide Society was not engaged in any actual work that could be described as “charity.”
I have just described to you every piece of documentation that the Global Village Champions Foundation provides as evidence of its charity in 2014, and keep in mind that Yank says that 60 percent of his profits from sales of not only ProPectin, but also Vitapro are delivered to charity through his foundation. When asked to provide documents showing what his profits were, Yank failed to do so, but he has stated that Vitapro alone has annual revenues of more than $1 billion dollars, and that he donates “most of it” to charity.
Clearly, Yank donated nowhere close to that amount of money to charity in 2014.
The documentation that the Global Village Champions Foundation website provides as evidence of its charity in earlier years is considerably sparser than even the paltry documentation that it provides for 2014. The evidence for charity in 2013, for example, includes little more than a number of random receipts for random purchases, and though the total expenditure is more than in 2014, while some of the purchases were of food, there is no evidence that most of the items purchased were delivered to charity.
One of the 2013 receipts is from a Subway sandwich shop. There are also: 1) several receipts for purchases of hamburgers from the local McDonald’s hamburger restaurant in Bulgaria; 2) a receipt for an extra-large pizza; 3) grocery store receipts showing purchases of potato chips and other junk food, and 4) a receipt from the luxurious Grand Hotel in Sofia, which is presumably where Yank stays during his visits to Bulgaria. (Yank has told the media that he is housing Syrian refugees in luxury hotels, and many journalists actually believed that Yank was housing Syrian refugees in luxury hotels, but that receipt for the Grand Hotel was not for housing Syrian refugees, and there are no other receipts from hotels that housed refugees of any kind).
The above receipts, it should be stressed, are presented as evidence that the Global Village Champions Foundation has fed close to a billion people. Yank’s companies, Vitapro and ProPectin, are based in Bulgaria, and it should be recalled that most of the receipts that Yank provides as evidence of his charity in 2014 are in Bulgarian currency, despite the fact that Yank claims to be feeding needy children in nations all around the world, “eradicating hunger from the face of the planet Earth.”
In addition to those receipts, the Global Village Champions Foundation provides as evidence of its activities in 2013 receipts from a Walmart in Sarasota, Florida, where Yank has a house. Those receipts show that Yank purchased at Walmart various items of clothing, including a pair of women’s panties, and a magazine.
Oddly, the Global Village Champions Foundation’s website posts multiple receipts for purchases of women’s panties at various stores. It could be that Yank was delivering panties to the girls in Bulgaria, but panties weren’t meals, and girls wearing panties are not hungry children.
Most of the other documents that the Global Village Champions Foundation provides as evidence of its “charity” in 2013 are shipping documents showing that Aliments Ed Foods, the subcontractor that manufactures the Vitapro dehydrated meat substitute product, shipped various quantities of Vitapro to Yank and/or his business partners, but there is no evidence that the Vitapro was donated to charity.
Again, most humanitarian organizations provide evidence that their shipments of food was actually delivered to hungry people, and shipping documents showing that Yank’s subcontractor shipped product to Yank does not count as evidence that the Global Village Champions Foundation has delivered significant quantities of food to hungry people, much less nearly one billion people, most of them children.
One of the shipping documents for 2013 shows that Aliments Ed Foods shipped around 17,000 kilograms of “Seasoning” to a company in India called Viva Enterprises. There is, of course, no evidence that the seasoning was delivered to hungry people, and it is, in any case, hard to imagine that hungry people would benefit much from seasoning rather than actual food. A large shipment of seasoning does not count as nutrition, much less show that the Global Village Champions Foundation is an “undisputed leader of private humanitarian deliver of nutrition to needy people everywhere.” And a shipping document showing that Yank’s subcontractor shipped product to Viva Enterprises, which is not a charity, does not count as evidence of anything.
The documentation that the Global Village Champions Foundation provides as evidence of its supposed charitable activities between the years 1999 and 2012 is even sparser (and you can find the full compendium of documentation posted here at DeepCapture.com). All told, the Global Village Champions Foundation website posts 42 documents purporting to be evidence of its charitable activities between 1999 and 2012, and of those 42 documents, a full 20 are documents provided by the above-mentioned Universal Aide Society, which, recall, was deemed by the Canadian Revenue Agency to be fraud..
It should be stressed that the Canadian Revenue Agency determined that the Universal Aide Society was engaged in no actual charitable activities, and so it is probably safe to assume that the Global Village Champions Foundation’s dealings with the Universal Aide Society did not, in fact, involve feeding hungry children. It should also be stressed that nearly half the documents provided by the Global Village Champions Foundation as evidence of its charity between 1999 and 2012 are Universal Aide Society documents.
Aside from those, there are only the following documents (all of which can be viewed here at DeepCapture.com): 1) a few more shipping documents showing that Yank’s subcontractor shipped Vitapro to Yank; 2) a few blank shipping documents that show that nothing was shipped; 3) a letter from a charity thanking Yank for donating a pair of Muhammad Ali boxing gloves (and nothing else); 4) a document showing that Yank donated around $500 worth of canned sardines to charity; and 5) documents showing that Yank did business with a company called United International, which was not a charity.
Aside from that, the only documents provided by the Global Village Champions Foundation as evidence of its charity between 1999 and 2012 (all of these documents can be viewed here at DeepCapture.com) are: 1) a few letters thanking Yank for attending charity events at various country clubs; 2) a letter thanking Yank for playing in a golf tournament that was for charity; and 3) numerous letters thanking Yank for attending parties at the Crystal Palace casino and nightclub in the Bahamas.
In other words, Yank has posted a bunch of letters showing that he went to parties at a casino as evidence that he has fed nearly one billion people, most of them children. We will see that Yank had other business with the management of the Crystal Palace casino in the Bahamas (some of the above-mentioned letters are addressed to “Yank Barry, c/o of the Crystal Palace”), and though the parties that Yank attended at the Crystal Palace were ostensibly fundraisers for charity, attending parties at a casino does not make Yank Barry an “undisputed leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition” worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.
It is literally the case that aside from the documents showing his dealings with the Universal Aide Society, which was, according to the Canadian Revenue Agency, not involved in any activities that were actually charitable, and aside from documents showing that he attended various functions at country clubs and the Crystal Palace casino, Yank has provided almost nothing in the way of evidence that the Global Village Champions Foundation donated to charity between the years 1999 and 2012.
The documentation for the year 2014 was a bit more substantial, but only a bit, and not more than what I have described above, with little evidence that even those expenditures were for food that was delivered to needy children. In other words, we have shown that Yank’s charity is a massive fraud, but there is more.
As I already mentioned, there are documents showing that in 2014, for example, Aliments ED Foods, which manufactures Yank’s Vitapro product, shipped Vitapro product to Global the Village Champions Foundation in Bulgaria. There were no other shipping documents for 2014, other than those documents showing that Vitapro had been shipped to Bulgaria in the name of the Global Village Champions Foundation and its local representative Kiril Gorianov (who, recall, is also Vitapro’s representative in Bulgaria, and who was the first person to nominate Yank for the Nobel Peace Prize).
Since Bulgaria is where Yank’s company, Vitapro International, has its headquarters (Vitapro International being the company that markets and sells the Vitapro product, manufactured by, among other subcontractors, Aliments ED Foods), it is likely that these shipping documents show nothing other than the fact that the manufacturer of Yank’s product sent some of that product to Yank in Bulgaria, while Yank had the product shipped in the name of the Global Village Champions Foundation so that he could claim the product was for charity and not pay import or export taxes on the shipment of Vitapro product, which Yank then sold for a profit.
There is only one other shipping document that, if genuine, seems to show that the Global Village Champions Foundation has delivered at least some meals to charity. That document shows, more specifically, that around 38,000 kilograms of Vitapro was shipped to the government of the Philippines, and that document, at least, was evidence that the Vitapro product had been sent to someone other than Yank himself.
It might well be that the government of the Philippines delivered that Vitapro product onwards to hungry people, but that one shipment of 38,000 kilograms of Vitapro during 2013 is not evidence that Yank or the Global Village Champions Foundation has fed close to one billion people. (The Global Village Champions Foundation website does have a video showing Global Village Champions Foundation volunteers delivering some Vitapro to people in the Philippines, and maybe that was the Vitapro that Yank shipped to the government of the Philippines, but there is no evidence that the full 38,000 kilograms went to needy people).
Aside from what I have just described, the only other documentation provided by the Global Village Champions Foundation website (and, remember, Yank told me this was all the documentation we need, and he failed to deliver any additional documentation, despite multiple requests) were a number of letters and certificates, some of them from charitable organizations, others from friends of Yank, thanking the Global Village Champions Foundation (or, quite often, thanking just Yank alone) for donations. All told, there were 113 letters and certificates thanking Global Village Champions Foundation (or, in many cases, just thanking Yank Barry).
Presumably, these 113 letters and certificates (all of them to be found, as of this writing, in the Global Village Champions Foundation website’s “Letters of Appreciation” section (which you can view by clicking this link) represented the entirety of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s work over more than two decades since the 1990s, when the foundation was established, along with its supposed goal to feed one billion people.
A few of these letters and certificates at least appeared to be genuine, so, for example, there was a certificate from the Red Cross Society of China thanking Yank Barry for donating 377,000 Rmb (around $62,330) worth of rice to victims of an earthquake, namely the same $62,000 worth of rice mentioned above. But that donation of $62,330 worth of rice was one of the largest donations cited in the various letters and certificates, and while it was a generous donation, it didn’t quite add up to the one billion meals.
A number of the letters were handwritten notes, purportedly written by children, each child thanking Yank in general terms for being a nice guy. It was impossible to verify whether these children had really been helped, and it was impossible to verify whether the children even existed. Supposing that they did exist, their letters (13 letters out of the 113 letters posted on the website were these handwritten notes from children) certainly did not constitute evidence that the Global Village Champions Foundation had delivered nearly one billion meals to needy children.
Many of the certificates and letters on the website were the sorts of certificates and form letters that one receives simply for donating a few dollars to a charity on the charity’s website. As a typical example, the Global Village Champions Foundation posted a letter (the letter is reposted here at DeepCapture.com) from CARE Canada that begins “Dear Yank Barry” (suggesting that CARE Canada was not on familiar enough terms with Yank to address him as Dear Yank, or even Dear Mr. Barry). The letter thanks “Yank Barry” for making a donation (it doesn’t say how much was donated) and provides instructions on how one can donate more over the internet.
Anybody can obtain such a letter by donating $10 to CARE Canada, and if Yank had donated a large sum, he surely would have received a more formal letter. Certaintly, this letter and the many others like it posted on the Global Village Champions Foundation website are not evidence that the Global Village Champions Foundation has donated significant sums to charity, much less enough to buy one billion meals for needy children.
The Global Village Champions Foundation did post a somewhat more formal letter, allegedly from CARE Canada, thanking Yank Barry generally for delivering Vitapro food to Rwandan refugees, but this letter (which is posted here at DeepCapture.com) was written on Vitapro stationery (i.e. Yank’s stationery, not CARE Canada stationery). In other words, it is likely that someone at Vitapro wrote this letter, and Yank is trying to pass it off as a letter from CARE Canada.
A number of other letters were from various of Yank’s friends, including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and though Congresswoman Jackson Lee, in her speech on the floor of Congress, reported that Yank’s charity had fed nearly a billion children, her letter posted on the Global Village Champion Foundation website (and reposted here at DeepCapture) thanked Yank for nothing more than donating some undisclosed amount to a “Toys for Kids” event that was hosted by the congresswoman.
Some of the other letters were vague letters of commendation from various government officials in underdeveloped countries, and none of those letters cited any specifics as to what, if anything, Yank had donated to those countries. One of the letters was not a letter at all. It was just a business card of one Andre Azoulay. The business card identified Azoulay as “The Counsellor to His Majesty the King” of Morocco, but a business card is not, of course, evidence that Yank donated anything to charity.
One of the letters on the Global Village Champions website is a letter from a charity in Britain thanking Yank for donating a piece of paper with Evander Holyfield’s thumbprint (and nothing else). Another of the letters, from a general in the Thai army, was merely commending Yank for being a friend of the Thai armed services. Yank has also posted on his Facebook page letters of commendation from other foreign armed services, including a letter thanking him for being a friend of the Mexican Army.
Having lived in Thailand for a number of years myself, I know that it is possible to buy a letter of commendation from a Thai general, and it doesn’t cost much at all. I myself have received commendations from the Vietnamese military, and to earn these commendations, I had to do nothing more than promise to introduce American businessmen to the Vietnamese military. (I was, at the time, a consultant who specialized in helping U.S. companies do business in Vietnam).
Some of the other letters, as I mentioned, seemed to be standard “Dear Yank Barry” form letters that charities send to donors, no matter how small their donation, and the letters did not specify how much Yank had donated, much less constitute evidence that Yank had fed nearly one billion people.
The letters that did specify how much Yank and his charity had donated did not portray Yank as an “undisputed world leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition.” One letter thanked Yank for helping the Calgary Food Bank feed 65,330 bowls of soup to homeless people in Canada, but again, that was one of the largest acts of charity cited in the various letters and certificates on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, and around 65,000 bowls of soup (along with all the rest described above) does not add up to one billion meals.
Another letter, from a gospel church in Tokyo, thanked Yank for donating 33 boxes of ProPectin, and 33 boxes of ProPectin is a lot less than a billion meals. Indeed, ProPectin is not a meal at all, and nor is ProPectin in any other way useful to needy people. There was also a letter on the Global Village Champion Foundation website thanking Yank for buying a $2,533 ticket to the “Celebrity Chef and Wine Tasting and Golf Challenge” at the Long Boat Key Club and Resort.
In other words, Yank paid $2,500 to drink wine and play golf at a country club, and this (along with his many letters thanking him for attending charity fundraisers at other country clubs and at the Crystal Palace casino in the Bahamas) is what Yank means by “shipping documents” and “manifests” documenting that he has delivered nearly one billion meals to needy children everywhere.
Other letters posted on the Global Village Champions Foundation’s website as supposed evidence of Yank Barry’s charity came from the Young Presidents Organization and another outfit called The Russian Children’s Relief Fund Inc. Elsewhere, the Young Presidents Organization had stated its suspicions that Yank Barry was a fraud, and The Russian Children’s Relief Fund was not a real charity.
In 2002, the Young Presidents Organization withheld payment of $150,330 in contributions that it raised at a Yank Barry fund-raiser for the Russian Children’s Relief Fund because the Young Presidents Organization learned that the Russian Children’s Relief Fund did not legally exist anymore, having been dissolved the year before. In other words, the Russian Children’s Relief Fund was a fraud, and Yank attempted (but failed) to abscond with $150,330 that he raised for this “charity.”
The Russian Children’s Relief Fund had been operated out of a Miami condominium by a man named Gordon Stula, whose name appears on many of the Universal Aide Society documents discussed above.
Other letters on the Global Village Champions Foundation website were from charities that thanked Yank for nothing more than showing up at their premises with famous boxers, including Evander Holyfield and Mohammed Ali, and though those charities expressed hope that Yank was actually going to donate something to the charities, there is no evidence on Yank’s website that Yank made the hoped-for donations.
Notably, after I asked Yank whether there was evidence, aside from that posted on his website, that Yank had donated close to one billion meals to needy children, Yank posted a letter from the head of the Liberian consulate in Atlanta stating that the Liberian consulate had received from Yank a “bill of lading” for “5 million meals” that Global Village Market had ostensibly donated to Liberia.
It is doubtful that the Liberian consulate actually received a “bill of lading” for “5 million meals” (a typical bill of lading would specify the weight or size of the food that was shipped, not the number of meals that could be made with that food, and Yank did not post a copy of the actual bill of lading). Furthermore, the letter from the head of the Liberian consulate was dated 1999, when the Global Village Champions Foundation was still known as Global Village Market, and not long after the Montreal Gazette had reported that Global Village Market was a fraud that was not delivering significant quantities of food to charity.
Among all the remaining letters posted on the Global Village Champions Foundation website as supposed evidence that the Global Village Champions Foundation had donated close to a billion meals to charity, only a few thanked Yank for donating specific amounts of food. Three of the letters thanked Yank for donating “one container” of Vitapro, but again, those letters were dated between 1998 and 2001, when the Global Village Champions Foundation was still known as Global Village Market, and a few containers of Vitapro did not add up to 1 billion meals.
One of the letters on the Global Village Champions Foundation website was from a company in India called Viva Enterprises, namely the same company, mentioned above, that took a large shipment of “seasoning” from Vitapro’s subcontractor, if we are to believe the shipping document that Yank posted. When I first checked the Global Village Champions Foundation website, the letter from Viva Enterprises thanked Yank Barry for delivering “144 boxes” of Vitapro and “33 boxes” of ProPectin.
After I began asking Yank about the evidence on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, though, Yank removed that letter from Viva Enterprises and replaced it with another letter from Viva Enterprises, this one thanking Yank for shipping “154 containers” (a lot more than 144 boxes) of Vitapro and “13 boxes of Propectin (over 11,000 kilograms).” Yank also posted a letter from the “Late Shri. Vishnu Waman Thakur Charitable Trust” referring to this same alleged shipment of 154 containers of Vitapro and “13 boxes (over 11,000 kilograms)” of ProPectin.
The letter from the Late Shri. Vishnu Waman Thakur Trust stated that the Trust would “ensure that our volunteers distribute this aid to the most in need. We are also making arrangements for ProPectin to be included for distribution to type 2 diabetes patients through the mobile hospitals. We have been instructed…to ensure that pictures and video of the recipients of the products are taken and data on their reactions etc. are captured which we can send to you. We will ensure that this is done.”
Given that Yank removed the earlier letter from Viva Enterprises, and replaced it with a new letter, changing “144 boxes of Vitapro” to “154 containers of Vitapro,” it is likely that Yank simply asked his business partner to produce a new letter with different numbers. It is, in any event, highly unlikely that that the Late Shri. Vishnu Waman Thakur Trust, which is not a significant charity, had the resources to distribute “154 containers” of Vitapro, and nor is it likely that any “mobile hospitals” would accept ProPectin as a cure for type 2 diabetes.
Yank has also yet to show me the alleged video of needy people in India receiving their 154 containers of Vitapro or even evidence that Vitapro’s subcontractor has ever manufactured that much Vitapro meat substitute.
In addition, Yank has not posted any shipping documents showing that he actually shipped 154 containers of Vitapro to Viva Enterprises in India. He has posted only that one shipping document, discussed above, showing that he allegedly shipped “seasoning” to his business partners at Viva Enterprises, a company affiliated with the Late Shri Vishnu Waman Thakur Trust. If Yank actually delivered 154 containers of Vitapro to needy people in India, there would be far more evidence than a suspect letter from his business partner, and Yank has provided no such evidence.
The most impressive letters in Yank’s whole collection, meanwhile, were letters from the Universal Aide Society. The Global Village Champions Foundation posted a total of eight letters from the Universal Aide Society, one of which thanked Yank for donating 2 million meals worth of Vitapro, and another of which thanked Yank for donating 15 million meals worth of Vitapro.
There are good reasons to doubt any documentation provided by the Universal Aide Society or its affiliates because, as we know, the Universal Aide Society’s license had been revoked after it was shown to have been involved in no work that was actually charitable. (I called the Universal Aide Society’s number in Canada and left a message saying that I wished to give the Universal Aide Society a chance to respond to allegations in this story, but my call was not returned. A Universal Aide Society representative has stated elsewhere that the organization believes it was treated unfairly by the Canada Revenue Agency, and that the Universal Aide Society would have its name cleared in the courts).
It must be stressed that most of the letters and certificates posted on the Global Village Champions Foundation website either provided no numbers or suggested that Yank donated between “33 boxes of ProPectin” [which is not a meal) to one container of Vitapro, or, in no more than a few cases, around $60,330 worth of soup or rice, and a few containers of Vitapro back in 1998-2001 when the Global Village Champions Foundation was known as Global Village Market (a fraudulent company).
Those donations, assuming that they were real donations, were better than nothing, but they were a lot less than one billion meals, and a lot less than the billions of dollars that Yank says he has delivered to charity. It must, in addition, be stressed that the most important letters in Yank’s collection were the letters from the Universal Aide Society, including the letter stating that Yank had donated 15 million meals to charity.
No other letters stated that Yank or the Global Village Champions Foundation had donated anywhere close to 15 million meals, and with the exception of the letter from the head of the Liberian consulate (which was authored way back in 1999), and the dubious letter from Viva Enterprises, no other letters gave the impression that Yank was a major donor of anything.
It must also be stressed that in 2009, the Canadian Revenue Agency revoked the registered charity status of the Universal Aide Society because the Universal Aide Society was not engaged in any real charity work. Recall that not only those eight letters (namely, the only letters that thanked Yank for donating anywhere close to “2 million” or “15 million” meals), but also half of the documents posted by the Global Village Champions Foundation as evidence of its charity work between 1999 and 2012 came from the Universal Aide Society (which was engaged in no real charity work).
I will repeat that when I asked Yank Barry about this, he assured me that the Universal Aide Society’s license had been reinstated, and that the Universal Aide Society was now in good standing. He said if there were any suspicions that the Universal Aide Society were a fraud, the documentation from the Universal Aide Society would not appear on the Global Village Champions Foundation website. But I will also repeat that when I contacted the Canadian Revenue Agency, the Canadian Revenue Agency confirmed that the Universal Aide Society’s license had not been reinstated, and that the Universal Aide Society was still regarded as a fraud that had not engaged in any work that the Canadian Revenue Agency deemed to be charitable.
The Universal Aide Society’s fraud, though, pales in comparison to the massive fraud perpetrated by Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation, which has taken in a lot of money, but which has not used much of that money to feed the poor. If Yank Barry really had fed nearly a billion people, there would be evidence that he had done so, and Yank would make that evidence available to the public.
Assuming that the letters on the Global Village Champions Foundation website are authentic, Yank has made a few donations to charity, and again, I do not mean to disparage those donations, as some needy people probably benefited from them. But again, there is no evidence on that website that Yank has donated anywhere close to a billion meals to needy people, and though the Global Village Champions Foundation has taken in a lot of money with its claims to have fed close to a billion people, it is not clear what happened to that money, most of which was certainly not used to feed the needy.
Yank’s statements (at Jeunesse conventions and elsewhere) that his website contains such evidence is itself a fraud because the only evidence posted on that website is as I have described it. That is to say, there is no evidence whatsoever that Yank is “striving to become the undisputed world leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition to needy persons everywhere.” That statement, too, is a case of fraud, because it suggests that the Global Village Champions Foundation ranks up there with other undisputed leaders, such as Save the Children.
It is true that a few celebrities, including not only Mohammed Ali, but also the famous boxer Evander Holyfield, have endorsed Global Village Champions Foundation and its claim to have delivered nearly a billion meals, but it is possible that those celebrities were either duped, or that they are themselves conspiring with Yank to perpetrate the fraud. Yank certainly seems to have convinced other celebrities and prominent people (e.g. members of the Kingsmen and several members of the U.S. Congress) to make fraudulent statements on his behalf. (Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield did not reply to questions that I sent for this story to their official websites).
It is also true that the Global Village Champions Foundation appears to boast an illustrious board of advisors, all of whom endorse the claim that the Global Village Champions Foundation is “striving to become the undisputed world leader in private humanitarian delivery of nutrition to needy persons everywhere.” However, on closer inspection, the Global Village Foundation’s board of advisors is not so illustrious, and the few genuinely illustrious people on that board of advisors are arguably “illustrious” only in the light of our culture’s warped values.
The chairman of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s advisory board at the time of this writing is Oliver “Buck” Revell, who is the most decorated FBI hero in history.
Buck Revell was formerly the associate deputy director (second-in-charge) of the FBI, meaning he was formerly one of the highest-ranked law enforcement officials in the land. Surely, the Global Village Champions Foundation must be legit if the chairman of its advisory board is Buck Revell.
But another possibility is that Buck Revell’s position as chairman of the advisory board might partially explain why others involved with Global Village Champions Foundation, including Yank Barry, have not yet been arrested by the FBI. And while Buck Revell is the most decorated FBI hero in history, he was, more specifically, decorated for having led some of the more notorious FBI investigations in history.
For example, Buck Revell led the FBI’s investigations of: 1) the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), an outfit that had business with numerous terrorists and organized crime figures, including Yank’s mobster associates in Canada. (See earlier DeepCapture stories for more on the BCCI enterprise, including details of BCCI’s business with the Commisso crime family in Canada. We will discuss Yank’s dealings with Cosimo Commisso in greater detail); and 2) the Iran-Contra scandal, which saw U.S. officials, in league with the BCCI enterprise, among others, selling sophisticated weaponry to the regime in Iran and using the proceeds to arm the so-called “contra” rebels in Nicaragua, while the contras and their business partners, including the leading Colombian drug cartels, laundered drug money through the BCCI enterprise.
Buck Revell also led the FBI’s investigation of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, perpetrated by terrorists, including a terrorist named Omar Abdul Rahman, otherwise known as the Blind Sheikh, who had extensive involvement with the BCCI enterprise. The Blind Sheikh (who was not just a terrorist, but also a banker) co-founded BCCI’s most important affiliate, Faisal Islamic Bank, and earlier DeepCapture stories provided details of the FBI’s attempt to protect the Blind Sheikh from prosecution.
Revell also led the investigation of the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which was the most deadly terrorist attack in history prior to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. It is now almost universally accepted that the perpetrators of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing were terrorists with ties to the BCCI enterprise, though the FBI found otherwise, and a strong taint of scandal hung over not only the FBI’s investigation of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, but also all of the other FBI investigations mentioned above.
That is to say, all of those investigations were dogged by allegations that the FBI, under Buck Revell’s direction, had perpetrated cover-ups, protected criminals and terrorists, and persecuted honest U.S. government officials and others who tried to report the truth. It is not the purpose of this article to discuss all of those FBI investigations in detail, and others besides myself have already done excellent reporting on this subject, so it will suffice if I encourage readers to educate themselves by reading: 1) the many books reporting on the FBI’s protection of the BCCI enterprise, and subsequent cover-up of the BCCI scandal; and 2) the many books noting FBI management’s deliberate obstruction of attempts by others to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal
While the more famous protagonist Oliver North was the key figure in the Iran-Contra enterprise, Buck Revell oversaw an FBI operation to harass, surveil, and terrorize ordinary American citizens who opposed the U.S. government’s support of the contras and dictators in Latin America. For more on this subject, see the book “Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI,” by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ross Gelbspan. That book details Buck Revell’s involvement in a program that saw FBI agents terrorizing and surveilling thousands of innocent Americans.
See also the extensive literature (including three books on this subject by prominent journalist Peter Lance) about the FBI’s attempts to protect some of the terrorists linked to the 1993 WTC bombing; and the extensive literature that has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that FBI management and other U.S. officials protected the terrorists (including a BCCI figure named Monzer al-Kassar, who was also a U.S. government agent and key figure in the Iran-Contra enterprise) most widely suspected of involvement in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, while falsely pinning the blame on the Libyan government and persecuting all who tried to tell the truth. (The numerous books on this subject are cited in a DeepCapture story entitled “Monzer al-Kassar, Model Citizen;” the most recent book is “Cover-up of Convenience, The Hidden Scandal of Lockerbie”).
It was, of course, also Buck Revell who hired Lindley DeVecchio, chief of the FBI’s organized crime task force during the 1990s, later indicted for having allegedly corrupt relationships with members of the Colombo crime family. DeVecchio, like Buck Revell, is a close associate of Yank Barry.
It is, in addition, certain that Buck Revell knows that Yank Barry is a convicted criminal (recall that Yank Barry did jail time for his involvement in a Mafia extortion scheme), as does Chin Ho Lee, another member of Global Village Champions Foundation’s advisory board. Chin Ho Lee is a former FBI special agent and a partner in the Revell Group, a company founded by Buck Revell that specializes in “intelligence” gathering for corporate and government clients, though the Global Village Champions Foundation website names Chin Ho Lee only as “Chairman, Hyundai Aluminum Industries.” (He says he formerly worked as a high-level executive for that company).
When I contacted Buck Revell and told him that there were good reasons to believe that the Global Village Champions Foundation was making fraudulent claims, and that Yank Barry was a criminal, he said he had seen no evidence to support my allegations. I then asked Revell if he would disassociate himself from Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation if I were to send him evidence that Yank Barry was engaged in criminal activity and that the Global Village Champions Foundation was a fraud.
Revell said, yes, he would certainly do so.
I then asked Revell if he would report Yank Barry to his associates at the FBI if I were to send him evidence that Yank Barry was engaged in criminal activities, and he, Revell, said, yes, he would certainly do so. This was good news, and it suggested that maybe Buck Revell was going to do the right thing.
But when I sent Revell an email containing a great deal of evidence that Yank Barry was engaged in criminal activity and that the Global Village Champions Foundation was a fraud, Revell never answered my email. To this day, Revell has not disassociated himself from Yank Barry, and he continues to serve as chairman of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s “illustrious” advisory board.
In other words, the former associate deputy director of the FBI (formerly one of the highest ranked law enforcement officials in the nation) is failing to report Yank Barry to the authorities, and continuing to promote Yank Barry’s charity, knowing that Yank is a criminal and that his charity is a fraud. We will review much more evidence that Yank is currently engaged in criminal activity, and I sent this evidence to Buck Revell, but he ignored it.
It might be removed because this story will now expose most of the members of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s illustrious advisory board as frauds and imposters. For example, The Global Village Champions Foundation’s website lists one Dr. Ibrahim Achmed Al-Sharef as a member of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s advisory board, and the website describes Dr. Ibrahim Achmed Al-Sharef as the “Coordinator, Doctors Without Borders, Tripoli, Libya.”
Doctors Without Borders is a prominent charity, but when I called Doctors Without Borders, a spokesman for that charity stated that the charity’s computers held no record of a Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed al-Sharef working in any capacity for Doctors Without Borders When I asked Yank Barry about this, he assured me that Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed al-Sharef was, in fact, the Coordinator of Doctors Without Borders in Libya, and that Doctors Without Borders would confirm this. He said I should check with Medecins Sans Frontiers, which, according to Yank, was the “original French organization” because maybe the French organization was different from the organization with the same name in English (“Medecins Sans Frontiers” translates as “Doctors Without Borders”).
Medecins Sans Frontiers is, in fact, the same organization as Doctors Without Borders, but I checked again with Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers, and a spokesmen for that organization confirmed again that Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed al-Sharef had never worked for Doctors Without Borders. The spokesmen sent me an email (the email is posted here at DeepCapture.com) stating that “There is no individual by the name Dr. Ibrahim Achmed Al-Sharef with the Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) team in Libya.”
As to what Dr. Al-Sharef’s real job might be, that is unknown, since his name is mentioned nowhere on the internet, other than on various Yank Barry websites that identify him as “Coordinator of Doctors Without Borders, Tripoli, Libya.”
Meanwhile, the Global Village Champions Foundation lists a man named James Shelley as being a member of its “illustrious” advisory board, and the Global Village Champions Foundation website describes James Shelley as “Former President/CEO, Bank of America Canada.” But James Shelley has never worked for Bank of America in any capacity whatsoever, much less as president of Bank of America in Canada.
When I asked Yank Barry about this, Yank assured me that Shelley had been president of Bank of America Canada, and Yank stated that Bank of America would certainly have records showing that Shelley was, at a minimum, president of Bank of America’s “farm and real estate” division in Canada. Yank said, “We have no reason to exaggerate.”
Clearly, Yank was telling me that Shelley really had been president of at least an important division of Bank of America, the big financial institution, so I did some further research, and I can now confirm that Shelley absolutely never worked for Bank of America in any capacity, much less as president of an important Bank of America division. However, I did discover that Shelley and few other people had incorporated a small company called Bank of America Canada Realty.
The fact that Shelley incorporated a small company called Bank of America Canada Realty is recorded on a website called businessprofiles.com (a screenshot from that website is posted here at DeepCapture.com), but the Bank of America Canada Realty incorporated by Shelley has absolutely nothing to do with Bank of America, the big financial institution. Most likely, Shelley incorporated this company precisely so that he could say that he was “President, Bank of America Canada,” while fraudulently suggesting that this means he was a president of Bank of America, the big financial institution. (He has stated in multiple forums that he was president of Bank of America, the big financial institution, and this statement is fraudulent).
To repeat: both Shelley and Yank Barry have stated unequivocally that Shelley was president of at least an important division of Bank of America, the big financial institution, but Shelley has never worked in any capacity for Bank of America, the big financial institution, and I have been made aware that Bank of America is going to go after Shelley for incorporating a company in the name of Bank of America, and fraudulently describing himself as being affiliated with Bank of America.
Yet another member of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s illustrious advisory board is Tony Lichaa, who is described on the Global Village Champions Foundation website as the President of the Lebanese Association for the Prevention of Disease. That sounds impressive, but there is no record that any such organization exists. If it does exist, it is not active in any way, much less in the prevention of disease, and it was founded by Tony Lichaa himself.
Elsewhere (see this screenshot from a company that Tony Lichaa co-founded, for example), Tony Lichaa is, at the time of this writing, describing himself as the “former head of internal medicine and cardiology” at the Montreal Heart Center, one of the most prestigious hospitals in Canada. When I called the Montreal Heart Center, I was told that Tony Lichaa never worked there in any capacity, much less as the “head of internal medicine and cardiology.” When I asked Yank Barry about this, Yank assured me that Tony Lichaa really had been the head of cardiology at the Montreal Heart Center, but again, I can confirm (and the Montreal Heart Center confirms) that Tony Lichaa never worked in any capacity for that prestigious hospital, much less as its head of cardiology.
Whether or not Tony Lichaa is even a doctor is unknown, but he seems to have spent most of his career working for fraudulent companies, offering products that fraudulently claimed to have various miracle health benefits. For example, Tony Lichaa co-founded a company called BioAesthetica, which purports to have a miracle anti-aging treatment that eliminates wrinkles and grows new hair.
While BioAesthetica is operated by, among a few others, Tony Lichaa, who claims to be president the Lebanese Association for the Prevention of Disease (which sounds like a big Lebanese medical association, though it seems to have no other members other than Tony Lichaa, and there is no evidence that this association is active in any way), the only address shown on BioAesthetica’s website is an address in Bangkok, Thailand (where Yank Barry has a house).
On the BioAesthetica website, Tony Lichaa, of course, describes himself not only as the president of the Lebanese Association for the Prevention of Disease, but also as the “former head of internal medicine and cardiology” at the Montreal Heart Center. Making false claims concerning medical treatments and professional experience in the medical world is a federal crime in the United States, and in Bangkok, where Tony Lichaa appears to have his base of operations, it is a crime as well.
But while Tony Lichaa is a frequent visitor to the United States, and offers his miracle anti-aging treatments to patients in the United States while falsely claiming to be the former head of cardiology at Montreal’s most prominent heart hospital, it is unlikely that he will be prosecuted in this county, where Buck Revell is the most decorated FBI hero in history, much admired by top officials of the American “justice” system.
It is unclear what products BioAesthetica uses to rejuvenate people, but one of BioAesthetica’s proprietors, Michael Nobel, also promotes ProPectin, the Yank Barry product that purports to have anti-aging properties. Yank, of course, says that the more ProPectin that his distributors sell, the more meals for the children are provided by Global Village Champions Foundation, and Michael Nobel is key figure in this scam, as we will see momentarily.
It is, in addition, probably no coincidence that Tony Lichaa (who never worked for the Montreal Heart Center, though he claims to have been “head of cardiology” at that prestigious hospital) was formerly chairman of a company called Biochem Solutions, which was co-founded by Yank Barry. We will return to Biochem Solutions when we discuss some of Yank’s business dealings with people linked to organized crime, but suffice it to say that Biochem Solutions was another massively fraudulent company that claimed to have a cure for AIDS and a cure for arthritis.
Biochem Solutions never had any product whatsoever other than a fake potion that had, according to Biochem press releases, been tested under “FDA protocols,” though it had never been tested by anyone other than a doctor in Kenya named Davy Koech, who falsely claimed that Biochem’s potion was an effective treatment for AIDS, and who was subsequently (in 2012) indicted for fraud and grand theft.
Again, we will discuss Biochem in more detail (and I will provide more links to documentary evidence supporting all that I have just reported), but for our present discussion, it is enough to know that Davy Koech was another member of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s illustrious board of advisors until he was indicted for fraud and grand theft. (Yank Barry told me that he did not know that Koech was a fraud and a thief until after he was indicted).
Yet another member of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s illustrious advisory board is the above-mentioned Michael Nobel, whom the Global Village Champions Foundation’s website describes as the “Executive Chairman of the Nobel Charitable Trust.” That is clearly meant to sound as if Michael Nobel is the chairman of a prestigious “charitable” organization affiliated with both the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Foundation, a philanthropic organization operated by the famous Nobel family.
Elsewhere, Michael Nobel has described himself as the “patriarch of the Nobel Prize.” Michael Nobel has also described himself (and Yank Barry has described him) as a direct descendent of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Peace Prize. But Michael Nobel was born Michael Oleinkoff (he only recently changed his name to Nobel, which was his grandmother’s maiden name, or so he says), and he has nothing to do with the Nobel Prize or the Nobel Foundation.
While it is true that he is chairman of the Nobel Charitable Trust, which he founded, that is not a prestigious organization, and nor indeed is it even active in any way.
Michael Nobel’s fraud has been exposed by various media organizations. Few of those media organizations were in the United States, which has no functioning media, but The Times of India, for one, reported that “Michael Nobel is the executive chairman of the Nobel Charitable Trust—which has nothing to do with the Nobel Foundation. He is not “the patriarch of the Nobel Prize” as his PR machinery describes him….Michael has had a number of run-ins with the [real] Nobel Foundation when he tried to institute a parallel award using the famous name. The [Nobel] Foundation even threatened legal action.”
The Times of India continued: “In an exclusive interview…executive director of the Nobel Foundation Michael Sohlman wrote from Stockholm: ‘Michael Nobel has no relation whatsoever with the Nobel Foundation…He is in no way entitled to represent or give any official information about the Foundation. He has taken several initiatives which could be seen as infringements on the goodwill built over 100 years by the Nobel Prize awarding institutions.’”
When the Times of India confronted Michael Nobel, he responded as follows: “I must admit that several advantages come with my new last name. However, I do not require the permission of the Foundation to use it, after all, my paternal grandmother was born a Nobel. There is no controversy. It is a civil matter that can easily be solved in the courts by arbitration.”
The Times of India reported that Michael Nobel was giving awards, suggesting they were related to the Nobel Peace Prize, and when asked about this, Michael Nobel said “Well, we do not have to call it the Nobel Prize, we could name it the Michael Nobel Award or Medal.”
No doubt, Yank Barry will win that award if he doesn’t win the real Nobel Peace Prize, for which he has, in fact, been nominated by three members of Congress.
When the real Nobel family began voicing complaints about Michael Nobel using the Nobel name, Michael Nobel stopped making the claim that he was a direct descendent of Alfred Nobel (founder of the Nobel Prize), though somebody recently informed The New York Times that he is, in fact, the “great grandnephew” of Alfred Nobel.
More often, now, he says he is a descendent of someone named Ludwig Nobel, and there have suddenly appeared dozens of websites (possibly created by Yank Barry and associates), along with a convincing Wikipedia entry (Wikipedia is routinely manipulated by con-artists and propagandists) describing Ludwig Nobel as having once been the richest man in the world because he single-handedly built the oil industries in multiple countries, including Russia and Azerbaijan.
Michael Nobel has also claimed to be one of the world’s most esteemed doctors and scientists, responsible for having invented magnetic resonance imaging, and Yank Barry has repeated that claim, but there is no evidence that Michael Nobel was the inventor of magnetic resonance imaging, and his most prestigious job was a stint at an obscure university in Azerbaijan (or possibly, he found a university in Azerbaijan that was willing to vouch for him when he said he was a resident scientist at that university).
The Global Village Champions Foundation, of course, describes Michael Nobel as the chairman of the Nobel Charitable Trust, which sounds impressive, but to repeat: not only does the Nobel Charitable Trust have nothing to do with the Nobel Prize or the Nobel Foundation, but there is no evidence that the Nobel Charitable Trust has ever done anything at all, other than give dubious awards, pretending that those awards have something to do with the Nobel Prize. There certainly is no evidence that the Nobel Charitable Trust has done much of anything that is “charitable.”
Presently, the Nobel Charitable Trust is not active in any way, other than to be affiliated with the Global Village Champions Foundation. (The Nobel Charitable Trust has no website or contact information listed on the internet, and I was unable to reach Michael Nobel for comment, nor even determine his present whereabouts).
Michael Nobel describes himself as a world renowned doctor, but like Tony Lichaa, the other supposedly prominent doctor on the Global Village Champions Foundation advisory board, Michael Nobel’s medical practice has consisted mostly of promoting bogus (fake) medical cures and fraudulent companies. Recall that Michael Nobel is involved, along with Tony Lichaa, in BioAesthetica, the outfit in Bangkok that offers miracle anti-aging treatments, while falsely claiming that Lichaa is the former head of cardiology at Montreal’s most prestigious heart hospital.
Aside from that, Michael Nobel’s most important job, apparently, is to promote Yank’s ProPectin product. I will repeat that no credible doctors have ever suggested that ProPectin has any health benefit whosoever.
Yank did find three supposed doctors in Bulgaria to produce reports stating that ProPectin might help prevent diabetes, but not even the Bulgarian doctors would hazard any proof of that, other than to note that ProPectin is made of apple-pectin, and some studies have suggested that eating apples might help prevent diabetes. The Bulgarian stooges also did not go so far as to say that ProPectin can actually cure diabetes, a claim that Yank has made repeatedly, and there is zero evidence from anyone that ProPectin has anti-aging properties, that it prevents cancer, or that it rids the body of radioactive contamination—three claims that Yank has made repeatedly, even telling people that ProPectin has saved millions of people from Fukushima’s radioactive fallout.
The only doctor who has endorsed ProPectin as having any of those miracle properties is, naturally, Michael Nobel. In a typical video, produced by Yank Barry’s publicists, a woman announcer repeatedly introduces Michael Nobel as a descendent of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Peace Prize, and describes Michael Nobel as an “award winning scientist and humanitarian.”
Then Michael Nobel (whose most impressive credentials include a supposed professorship at the “National Academy of Science in Azerbaijan”) appears in the video to confirm that ProPectin is “incredibly effective” and that it should be used to decontaminate people all around the world who have been exposed to the Fukushima nuclear fallout. Watch the video here:
Another member of the Global Village Champions Foundation’s illustrious advisory board is Dr. Ali Gadayye, whom the Global Village Champions website describes as the “Secretary General of the Community of the Sahel-Saharan States.”
Yank Barry and the Global Village Champions Foundation have also filled the internet with photographs of Yank and Dr. Ali Gadayye, always described as the Secretary General of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, meeting with officials in Libya, and purportedly negotiating the release of five Bulgarian nurses whom the Libyan government jailed after convicting the nurses of infected 433 children with HIV. (Recall from Chapter 1 of this story that Yank’s supposed efforts to secure the release of those Bulgarian nurses was cited as a reason why Gorianov, also of the Global Village Champions Foundation, had nominated Yank Barry for the Nobel Peace Prize).
While “Secretary General of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States” sounds like an impressive position, Dr. Ali Gadayye was never the secretary general of that organization, and has not been involved with the organization since 2008. Furthermore, I have been unable to find much information about what this organization does.
The few places on the internet where the Community of Sahel-Saharan States is mentioned (see, for example, this website, allegedly created by the African Union, Advisory Board on Corruption) lists the Community of Sahel-Saharan States official website at cen-sad.org, but as of this writing, that website shows nothing other than marketing for a dodgy looking currency exchange company in Germany.
Aside from that, there are few descriptions of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States to be found anywhere on the internet other than on Wikipedia, which describes the Community of Sahel-Saharan States as working to establish a free trade area among Sahel and Saharan countries. Wikipedia also reports that this organization has observer status with the United Nations.
After a month of phone calls and emails to people at the United Nations, I could find only one person at the United Nations who had ever heard of the organization. This person was unsure of the organization’s purpose, but she was kind enough to give me the contact information of somebody who works for the Community of the Sahel Saharan States, a man who asked to be named only as a certain Mr. Issa.
I sent Mr. Issa an email asking if Dr. Ali Gadayye was the Secretary General of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, and after a few hours, Mr. Issa called me from Libya. When Mr. Issa called me, he said that Dr. Ali Gadayye was not the secretary general of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. Then he called me again, this time in a rage, because, he said, Mr. Ali Gaddaye “is NOT secretary general of Community of Sahel Saharan States. He NEVER was secretary general of CEN-SAD [apparently, the acronym for the Community of Sahel-Saharan States].He never was secretary general of our organization. He is not secretary general! He never was secretary general!”
Mr. Issa continued, shouting into the phone, “This man going all around everywhere saying he is secretary general. He is not secretary general! Why do you ask me if he is secretary general? What did he do? What trouble is he finding? Mr. Ali Gaddaye only worked for CEN-SAD many years ago. Not since 2008 does he work for CEN-SAD.”
“Was he secretary general in 2008?” I asked.
“Not secretary general! This man was never secretary general! He was, in 2008, deputy secretary general, but he is leaving our organization in 2008. And I am telling him, stop and desist to say he is secretary general! He is meeting people in Libya! Government officials of Libya! I see the photographs from the Mr. Yank Barry—he is saying he is secretary general, but he is NOT secretary general! He is nothing with CEN-SAD.”
“And what, exactly, is CEN-SAD? What does it do?” I asked.
“It is nothing!” said Mr. Issa. “We try to make something, but we have no success. Can you help us?”
So it went, another strange conversation in pursuit of the surreal truth so far as it concerns the famous Yank Barry, another stop on the magical mystery tour–and make no mistake: The Global Village Champions Foundation really is (to quote its website more fully) “striving to be the undisputed world leader in private, humanitarian delivery of nutrition to needy persons everywhere, sustaining human life and eradicating hunger from the entire face of the planet Earth.’”
The next chapter of this story will discuss some of Yank Barry’s recent business ventures with people tied to organized crime, showing that those business ventures were affiliated with the Global Village Champions Foundation. All claims in this story will be backed up with documentary evidence.
One of the proudest moments of my life came the day that the CNBC producer called to tell me that the article I had written on Jim Cramer was the single meanest thing she had ever read in her life and that I was banned from CNBC forever.
The article in question, “Jim Cramer Is a Complicated Man,” is largely composed of quotes from Jim’s own writings, with some minimal explication from me. Though Jim’s confessions are tawdry enough to make a pimp squirm, since that piece largely draws upon extensive quotes from Jim’s own writing I do not see how it can be called, “mean”. I do know that various people (e.g., a Georgetown Law School professor friend) who read it have upon completion expressed dumfounded disgust at Cramer.
There is also, of course, the additional issue of the video I caused to be supplied to Comedy Central a year later, a video which Jon Stewart used to publicly humiliate Jim Cramer in a way that in any sane world would have left Jim lucky to be delivering weather forecasts from Butte, Montana.
Thus I was surprised to see on June 5, 2014 Ms. Becky Quick declare on air that she “would love to have Patrick [me] on” CNBC, followed by Joe Kernan’s faux-bewildered account deliberately distorting my early and prescient criticisms of Wall Street. I was not surprised, however, to see Jim Cramer coyly declare that Overstock.com is the one stock in the universe of stocks upon which he will not comment.
I immediately posted a blog accepting Ms. Quick’s invitation (“My Response to Becky Quick’s Proposal: I Do“). Naturally, since the moment that I picked up the gauntlet that the three of them threw down that morning, CNBC has gone dark. No one there, not a journalist, not a producer, not a technician, will reply to my request that they simply name a time and place for me to appear.
CNBC, I’m here to help. Why not make good on your statement that you “would love to have me on” CNBC, and schedule an appearance? Make it live, promote it ahead of time, and we’ll draw some numbers together.